- John Mahama launched his 2024 presidential campaign on March 2, promising Ghanaians a list of things
- He promised for instance that he will cut down the size of his government to 60 - ministers and deputy ministers
- The former president and likely flagbearer of the NDC made the promises at the University of Health and Allied Science
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Former president John Dramani Mahama on Thursday, March 2, 2023, made some interesting promises to Ghana at the launch of his 2024 presidential bid.
The well-organised event was held at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in the Volta Region and brought together hundreds of grassroots and elite members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
John Mahama disclosed at the Cedi Auditorium of the UHAS, which was charged with cheers, applause and tooting of vuvuzelas, that he has learned a lot after staying in opposition for close to eight years and he has learned a lot.
"I can say with full confidence that I learned a lot during the period and I am ready to be the President Ghanaians are looking for," he said.
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However, he is likely to face an uphill task in the national elections depending on who the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) fields as its candidate.
These are the seven key promises Mahama promised Ghanaians in his first 2024 election campaign speech:
1. Ex gratia payments will be scrapped
John Mahama promised to scrap ex gratia payments to Article 71 officeholders. Reiterating the views of notable civil society organisations in Ghana, Mahama said ex gratia payments burden Ghana's coffers.
"We will continue and bring to conclusion the constitution review process began by President Atta Mills including a review of the controversial article 71 to reduce the number of office holders, and remove the disparities in privileges and emoluments vis a vis the public and civil service. The payment of ex-gratia to members of the executive under Article 71 will be scrapped," he said.
2. Cut down the size of government
The NDC presidential aspirant also promised to work with the smallest number of ministers in the 4th Republic.
"As I announced in my Ghana We Want address at UPSA late last year, I will form a government of less than 60 ministers and deputy ministers of state," he promised.
Many civil society organisations have on many occasions hit hard at Nana Akufo-Addo from a bloated government size. Mahama is hopeful that by reducing the size of his government to 60 and initiating other reforms, he would be restoring confidence in Ghana's democracy.
3. Initiate an audit of Covid-19 expenditure
Mahama promised that if elected in 2024, he will investigate how public funds were expended under the current Nana Akufo-Addo government.
"This includes the Covid-19 Audit and the findings from the Auditor-General’s reports over years. We must clean the Augean stables and rid them of the filth and corruption.
He said under him, anti-corruption will be given unfettered space to work.
4. Engage more civil society to solve Ghana’s problems
Mahama also said he will work closely with experienced, talented, and passionate people, including those from non-political backgrounds such as the private sector and civil society.
He said civil society and non-political actors "simply want the best for Ghana".
"The first order of business will be to reset our country to its default settings as envisioned by the founders of the 4th Republic."
5. Media tolerance will be better under him
He praised his administration between 2012 to 2016 when he said one of its hallmarks was tolerance for criticism and the creation of a conducive atmosphere for the media to do its work without the fear of threats, harassment, and possible assassination.
"I have heard many of my party supporters say that the next NDC government must also exact its pound of flesh. My brothers and sisters, I daresay, there is no use fighting for political power if it is only to come and repeat the same mistakes of the NPP administration that have brought our dear nation to this sorry state," he said.
Ghana needs experience not experiments - Mahama
YEN.com.gh has reported in a related story that John Mahama said he possesses the critical experience needed to bring Ghana back to winning ways after the Nana Akufo-Addo government plunged it into chaos.
The former president, who is aspiring to return as President said at the launch of his campaign on March 2, 2023, that he will be the kind of president Ghanaians want.
He also jabbed the current government for being callous to Ghanaians and clueless about how to properly run the country.
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