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The battle of wits has begun in IEA Debate (Watch live streaming here)
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com          Published On: November 21, 2012, 18:15 GMT
 
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The battle of wits has begun in IEA Debate (Watch live streaming here)

Friendly hostilities between the four men vying for Ghana's top job is in full swing and the two main contenders, the NDC's John Mahama and the NPP's Nana Akufo-Addo are trading jabs as expected.

The four are Presidential Candidates whose parties have representation in Parliament are making frantic efforts to woo independent voters by extolling the virtues of their proposals whilst pooh-pooing those of their contenders.

They are proffering solutions to the challenges facing the country.

Incumbent President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Akufo-Addo, the Convention Peoples Party’s Dr Abu Sakara and Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention are engaged in the last battle of wits, words and figures in the last presidential debate before the election on December 7.

Myjoyonline.com.com will bring you live streaming and updates of the Presidential Debate



Already Joy News Editor Samson Lardy Ayenini who is present at the Banquet Hall of the State House, venue for the debate reports of bubbling excitement.

At 1831 GMT the candidates he reports are yet to arrive but the dignitaries have taken their seats already.

Closing Remarks

Nana Akufo-Addo

We have the president that his government is doing this and doing that but has heard so many complaints about the quality of lives. If indeed what is said is being done is not being done well. To all parents who badly want to to fulfil potential. My team and I will provide free SHS. To all those young jobless Ghanaians i ask for your vote to expand the economy and to provide jobs. To the eldersly and the sick i will once again revamp the NHIS. To all business men give me your and i will bring back hope in the country's economy.

John Mahama

My participation as the first sitting president in the presidential debate has deepened democracy in Ghana. I thank the Lord. God’s will shall be done in my life. The Constitution gives every president a second term. I deserve another term, and turn me from the spare driver as people have called me into the substantive driver.

We need the collective energies of the people and a unifier, a team player to steer this nation forward.

I offer a leadership of humility and honesty. My party has a solid plan for the development of the country.

Dr Abu Sakara

We have one of two choices. PROCEED on the path of prosperity for all or a few. Where we are now is on the path of prosperity for a few and we need to move away from that path. It is a test of leadership and character. I offer you myself to serve and provide quality leadership not cosmetic. On our education policy no one will be left behind. We will restore hope to those who believe all is lost.

John Mahama

The Youth is ready to take on the challenge. Many people insulted me. I am inspiring you. I am not here to say All die-be-die, neither am i here to say kill Gas or Ewes. Hassan Ayariga is a peaceful man. The PNC pledges to continue peace. Hassan Ayariga will win the 2012 General elections. Will retire


Que. How will you ensure media regulation to improve upon media standards.

Nana
The Ghanaian media has a come a long way. It is a vibrant media in the African continent and i am happy to be part of bringing this to light. I am reluctant to ask for government regulation and would rather ask for self regulation. The training of the media personnel must be enhanced.
We must also ensure the state owned media doesn’t become a propaganda tool for the ruling government.

Ayariga
The media must be congratulated for a good job but they must also be criticised for being too partisan. The PNC has no media to support it.
He appeals to the media not to sell bad news. He wants a non-partisan media and build the country together.

Sakara

The media must be able to regulate itself and recognise the power of the media. Ensure stricter quotas for government owned media houses. The media owned by political houses churn out half truths. There should be strict regulation for who should become a journalist. The media can do better and must be supported.

John
Politicians bear the brunt of inaccuracies from the media. Politicians concoct things against each other and put it in the media. We must show by example and refrain from churning out lies against opponent. The government has instituted a 2 million fund to support the media.

Foreign policy:

Rebuttal: Mahama:
Nana Addo not in position to know what is actually happening. Emphasized the relationship between the two countries – Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire - is good to ensure that we all live in peace, which is important to the two states. Would continue to deepen relationship between Ghana and its neighbors

Rebuttal: Sakara
Not enough being done for regional integration.
For instance the coastal road, gas pipeline, eastern corridor among others are being done by the individual state. He noted that if each country takes loan and does its part, there would also be a gap, it should done at regional level.

Rebuttal: Nana Addo;

Believe President Mahama is aware of the UN report about the meeting that took place in Takoradi purported to oust the Ivoirian government.

National Security said it was looking into the matter but nothing has been heard. Even that should cause a great concern when our national security is not aware. If they are not aware then it confirms that our country is being used to destabilize other states. This can’t be brushed under the table.
It is good to hear that our president is cooperating with Ouattara. Ghana should protect its enviable reputation.

John Mahama:
Ghana is not being used to destabilize Cote d’Ivoire as he declared at UN. He said he is walking the talk; for instance, two people trying to run arm in Cote d’Ivoire were arrested – Ghana has good relationship with it neighbors.

Ghana’s focus is to make the continent a better home for all of us, and Ghana would continue to play its role in African affairs, promote Pan Africanism to make the continent better place for all.

Work for peace and security within the ECOWAS sub region.

Ensure free movement of goods and services, hoping common currency would be introduced.

Would promote Ghana’s image and makes it attractive destination for tourism and investment.

Peacekeeping role would be stepped up to earn the respect of the world.

Nana Addo:
Contribution of Mills, so far as foreign policy is concerned, was disastrous invention, neigbour's house (Ivory Coast) was on fire and yet he turned his back to them.

Kufuor government took seriously the principle of good neighborliness, and we need to go back to that principle.

Country being seen as heaven for people to act against our neighboring nations, his government will bring this to an immediate end.

Restore cooperation between Ghana and other ECOWAS countries.

Ghana will cooperate with all friendly nations especially those who are democratic.

Hassan Ayariga:

Ghana’s principles of nonalignment since independence have made us a complete independent state from the influence of other nations.

Would return Ghana to its position as a leader in ECOWAS, AU, and UN.

Develop close economic ties with neighboring states; improve relationships without interfering in each other’s affair.

Abu Sakara:

Ghana’s foreign policy rested on four pillars: South-South approach, United Nations, Pan Africanism, Regional Integration – all instituted by the CPP

Made it clear that the world that Ghana would not align themselves to any unilateral body thinking they are powerful.

Ensure that expand the frontiers of South-South cooperation to improve technology and trade.
He would remain committed to Pan-Africanism.

He said Ghana has failed to rise to the challenge – citing the Cote d’Ivoire conflict, saying we must step up our game.

Issue of border dispute should be resolved.

The neighboring countries must come together to fight against Boko Haram, and other militant groups before they reach us.


Maternal mortality

Hassan Ayariga:
Maternal mortality is high.

This can be attributed to three delays: delay in seeking care, reaching care, receiving care.

Low status of women is also a contributing factor in their delay in seeking care. Men also lack knowledge about child birth.

Would improve infrastructure development. There would be a healthcare facility in between five to 50 kilometers distance.


Abu Sakara:
Look at the magnitude of the problem and design appropriate solution for it.

A disgrace we can afford expense things but little things lacking in rural areas are not being provided.

Expand roads access and improve the CHIPSS system, and also expand the level of awareness.

John Mahama:

MDGS on maternal mortality we are lacking behind.

Many people think Ghana cannot achieved its target but when we put our efforts together it can be achieved – so that we can save our mothers from dying.

We owe it obligation to women to stop maternal mortality.

Access to healthcare is important irrespective of how educated you are. Bring health care closer to the door step of women.

Over 100 CHIPSS compound built as well as improved national ambulance service and improvement in communications system.

Makes roads also accessible.

Nana Addo:

Revisit free delivery instituted by the Kufuor government and improve it.

Women need to have access to education to learn hygiene, nutrition and care – This is where the national focus should be.

Whole concept of education has to be radically enlarged to ensure that every female child goes to school, rationale behind the free SHS policy. With that done, it will solve the many problems associated with maternal mortality.


Women empowerment

Abu Sakara;
CPP has always champion the course of women and produced champion women.

Under the CPP regime more women were supported to go to parliament. Party removed glass ceiling for women – National chairperson and two deputies are women.

Gender is about empowering women to have the right relationship with men, and must be done in a pervasive manner. Awareness would be created through formal and informal means.

Queens to have representation at national levels, to serve as a motivation to young girls.

John Mahama:

Condition in which women find themselves is as a result of prejudices, but situation has improved after the Beijing conference.

Take bold measures to give space to women to realize their full potential. Firm measures needs to be taken and not lip services.

He also talked about economic empowerment.

40% quota promised by Mills was not realised because the major problem was finding women to serve.

He called for affirmative action for women.

Nana Addo:

Not worry to see a woman being president of Ghana - He is for women empowerment. Mills' 40% quota went up in smoke and wondered why.

There is an affirmative action at the party level, as the party makes it a point to give support to women to take leadership position.

The critical question is about education. He would make sure more women are educated to take up the mantle of leadership - commitment needed in this direction.

Hassan Ayariga:

Identify women groups and support them. Training more women in character and empower them to take leadership roles.

Subsidize sanitary wears so that mothers can afford for their babies.

Give scholarships to brilliant girls. He is serious about women empowerment hence choosing a female running mate when NPP and NDC ran away from it.

Women would not play fiddle to men again, through orientation wrong attitude towards women would change .

Science and technology

Abu Sakara:
There is a gap in science and technology in the country which is affecting our national development.

Promises to establish a 10 million research fund targeted at the study of science and technology and ensure that findings would be implemented.

So far as education is concerned, emphasis would be placed on technical and vocational training, and given the attention that it deserves.

Make polytechnics more robust to produce the skilled graduates needed to develop the nation.

John Maham Mahama:

Ministry of science and technology would be maintained as one ministry and given the needed backing.

Government rolling out various interventions to boost science and technology like clinics for girls.

Awards given to people in the area of science and technologies as well as giving scholarships to students. 5,000 given so far and would be increased to 10,000.

66,000 laptops have been distributed, and plans are far advanced to distribute 400,000 more to schools.

Nana Addo:

Teachers would be well trained by expanding capacities of training colleges to go into science and technology.

He deplores the lack of laboratory equipment in training colleges, saying it is a disincentive to teaching of science and technology.

Revisit the initial idea behind the establishment of the KNUST, which was intended to look like MIT.

Hassan Ayariga:

Change curricula of education, especially at the KNUST and bemoans the fact that elevators in the school are broken and yet the students are not able to fix them.

He also decries the neglect of industrialist Safo KantanKa by the NPP and NDC. He would be given the necessary support to train students, and ensure that students come out of schools more creative.


Oil (exploration)

Ayariga:

Review the oil agreements, drawing inspiration from Rawlings who reviewed the Valco contract to maximize profit for the nation in the early 90s.

Exploration of oil and gas to be extended to other areas of the country. Assured that industries and agriculture would be given the need attention.

Nana Addo:

Kufuor government adopted the best strategies by bringing in investors who came with their own money and equipment to explore oil in the country.

We should not continue to export crude just like we have been exporting other raw materials. Industrialization and value addition would be integral part in managing our resources.

Develop the human resources to develop the nation - life after oil production.

John Mahama:

Paid tribute to the PNDC for establishing GNPC which started exploratory works in the country.

Jubilee field founded under former President Kufuor but since 2009, 16 new discoveries were made under Mills.

Necessary legislative frameworks put in place to manage the oil sector, more are being enacted.

Increase the capacity of human resources and pass the Local Content bill.


Decentralization

John:
Decentralization is already in progress under the NDC government. Administratively, there has been transfer of personnel from civil service to local government service. About 2600 staff recruited for posting to various institutions at the local level. Local institutions would be given the power to hire personnel themselves.

Nana
Decentralization is all about devolution of power. He would ensure that education and health which is critical is address at the local level with adequate institutions in charge. More power would be given to institutions at the local level to handle critical issues at the local level.

Ayariga:
Encourage investors to make good use of lands lying fallow and labour in the regions as well as resources in their respective areas. Decentralizing and moving industries to the regions would minimize the movement of labour from north to south.

Sakara:
Decentralization taken long because central government does not want to relinquish power, hence the piecemeal approach to it. His government would be robust in ensuring that decentralization is implemented fully.

Rebuttals

John Mahama

The frivolous cancellation of contracts is the problem that has led to the issue of judgment debt and not the payment of it.
Dr Abu Sakara

There appears to be no commitment by the NPP and NDC to pass the Freedom of Information Bill.

Nana Addo

There appears to be an official collusion to take monies out of public purse. That is the fraud we are talking about and not the ordinary payment of judgement debts.

John Mahama

Judgement debts are adjudications by a court of law. It is what causes judgement debt that must be tackled. Nana Addo as a lawyer must know this. We must not rumour corruption but must stand against it and be prepared to hold people accountable. Expand resourcing to institutions that fight corruption.

Nana Akufo-Addo

Set a good example if you want to fight corruption. I have never been corrupt. Strengthen the agencies that fight corruption. The remit of CHRAJ is too large and another institution must deal with corruption specific. Famous dubious judgement debt have been paid under this government. The leadership will not countenance corruption

Hassan Ayariga

PNC will not countenance corruption. It will support institutions that fight corruption. Hassan will lead by example and not be like Nana Addo who was in office when ex-president John Kufuor of the NPP justified corruption. In dealing with corruption the law will be no respecter of persons.

Dr Abu Sakara

Complaints office will be set up to take information on corruption. Ensure we take steps to recover the benefits of corruption and recover assets stolen and brought back into the public purse.



Ques.2 What step to take to address corruption in Ghana?

Nana Akufo-Addo

The security of our people is a fundamental requirement. Surprised to hear there is a drop in crime. Armed robbery is on the increase. There shall Comprehensive response. There shall be the strengthening of the police force. 1:1000 in our country when the UN calls for 1;50. Ministry of Justice need to be strengthened. An expanded economy will mean the interest for armed robbery will reduce

Hassan Ayariga

Modernise armed forces and police and tool them with the latest weapons. Equip them to police our bodies. Ensure a proportion of one police officer to 300 people.

Dr Abu Sakara

A CPP government will undertake massive institutional reforms in the security agencies. It will also ensure attitudinal change among Ghanaians and provide the necessary equipment to the security officers.

President John Mahama

There is a drop in armed robbery activities in the country. We have provided logistics for training. We have increased the number of personnel with 4000 new officers. There has also been the increase in funding for Narcotics in Ghana.

Ques. How do you tackle armed robbery and general security issues in the country?



Rules of debate

There shall be three segments each with four questions. Each candidate will attempt the same question and will have three minutes to answer the question.

There shall be no applause. No photographs and mobile phones are allowed.

1922 The head of the IEA Jeane Mensah takes over for a short welcome address and to spell out the core value of the IEA Debate.

1921 A minute silence is observed in honour of the passing of the ex-vice president Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

1919 Rev Asante Antwi Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church opens the debate with a prayer.

1918 The candidates take to the podium as the National Anthem is sang.

1915 The four candidates are ushered into the banquet hall by flute blowing young girls


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