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General News
NDC: The "True" State of the Nation 2/15/2007
... Bitterly polarized nation along tribal lines
... Selective justice and bad governance
... FDI low despite numerous Kufuor trips
Accra, Feb. 15, GNA - The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday said President John Agyekum Kufuor''s State of the Nation Address last Thursday failed to present the "actual picture of desperation and despair" for the majority of Ghanaians.
"The President, in his State of the Nation Address presents a picture of hope, progress and achievement instead of the actual picture of desperation and despair, doom and gloom of the future and the dark clouds of fear and insecurity hanging on the lives of the majority of citizens," the NDC said at a press conference in Accra.

The press conference dubbed: "The True State of the Nation Address" presented by Mr Alban Sumanu Kingsford Bagbin, Minority Leader in Parliament, was in "review" of the President''s Address presented to Parliament last Thursday. President Kufuor read the address without the presence of the NDC MPs, who had since February 6, embarked on a boycott in solidarity with Mr Dan Abodakpi, MP for Keta who had been sentenced to 10 years'' imprisonment by an Accra Fast Track Court.

Mr Babgin said the recent return of former UN Secretary General, Busummuru Kofi Annan and the victories of the national football team the Black Stars and the forthcoming Golden Jubilee anniversary presented a unique opportunity for the nation to reconcile itself.

"The true state of our nation is one that is bitterly polarized on political and ethnic lines where political patronage reigns supreme and the politics of exclusion is a daily nightmare for people who do not toe the line of the ruling government," said Mr Bagbin.

The NDC accused the NPP of practicing selective justice, bad governance abuse of human rights and having stagnated the economy. The NDC said the NPP was pursuing bad policies, which had adversely destroyed jobs rather than fulfil the promise to create jobs.

"The unemployment situation has worsened. The worst affected is the textile and garment industry. Textile factories which were the flagship of Ghana''s industrial sector have collapsed leading to massive retrenchment of labour."

Mr. Babgin observed that despite the President''s numerous travels to seek investment, foreign direct investment had fallen steeply and hovered around the 100 million dollars per year mark from a high of almost 400 million in the late 1990''s.

Mr Bagbin said there was also a steep increase in external borrowing and in 2005 alone, borrowing amounted to almost 400 million dollars in external debt.

The NDC also noted a rather low performance in education, health and agriculture and the President''s Special Initiative, and called for an urgent restructuring of Ghana Telecom and a review of its management.

The NDC criticised the Government for poor preparation for the Golden Jubilee celebration which had consequently created poor public awareness and participation in the programmes marking the Golden Jubilee.

"Malaysia which also celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year set up its anniversary planning committee more than a year before the event. Unlike Ghana, the events have been better planned and publicized over an extensive period, evoking a strong national response and participation in the programmes and participation amongst the Malaysian people."

The Party expressed the hope that NDC''s "State of the Nation Address" would add to the public discourse on the numerous challenges that faced the nation."


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