Edward Mahama Endorses Free SHS

Dr. Edward Mahama, the immediate past leader of the People’s National Convention (PNC), has thrown his weight behind the free SHS policy, saying, “I have been consistent with the position that the Ghanaian child should have free education for the first 12 years of education.” The flag-bearer of the PNC in the 2008 elections and the one before it, addressed a press conference yesterday on a number of issues confronting the party these past few weeks. Still on the free SHS policy being flaunted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag-bearer, Nana Akufo Addo, he said having enjoyed free education as a Northerner, he thinks Ghanaians in other parts of the country should not be denied the opportunity. According to him, had his party won election when he led it, he would have embarked on the programme of providing free education to the Ghanaian child up to the senior high school level. “If what is good for the goose is good for the gander, there is no reason why Ghanaians in other parts of the country should not enjoy free SHS,” he said, adding that in his first interview with a radio station when he was elected flag-bearer of his party, he made his position on free SHS known. Turning to the challenges in the PNC, he advised the flag-bearer, executives and supporters to concentrate on the core mandate of the party to win both the presidential and parliamentary elections for the party. “The presidential candidate, the party executive and all parliamentary candidates should focus on a PNC message that will convince the electorate to vote for them,” he said. The PNC, he noted, remained a tangible and palpable linkage of Ghana to the 3rd Republic in 1992 and “heritage of the People’s National Party (PNP), Alhaji Imoro Egala and Dr. Hilla Limann, President of the 3rd Republic.” The party, he stated, suffered uncountable law suits “hence tethering itself in the courts of Ghana and failing to take its message to the people from 2005 to February 2012.” He regretted what is happening in the PNC which he said “saddens me greatly, and saddens all members of the party who genuinely want to see PNC take its rightful place in Ghanaian politics”. He charged PNC members “not to allow any person or institution to create disunity amongst them. I also call on them not to support any other party until the time is ripe to do so, and the National Executive Committee has decided on which party to support”. The PNC appears to have suffered the worst turbulence in its history as the flag-bearer for the forthcoming polls, Hassan Ayariga, is on a collision course with some leading executives of the party over what they consider his flirtation with the ruling NDC. His performance during the two presidential debates did not endear him to the top guns of the party and those outside it.