Barely two weeks to the December 7th elections, Dr. Abu Sakara has stepped up his efforts to tell Ghanaians that his Convention People’s Party has the set of ideas needed to develop the country into a prosperous one.
The last IEA Presidential debate held at the Banquet Hall of the State House is worth interrogating to know how well he performed above President John Dramani and Nana Akufo-Addo.
On crime and security, Sakara mentioned two areas of importance; national security and education as areas of focus in the CPP’s policy on crime and security. He stressed the point that he will strengthen the immigration service and Police. The establishment of a Public Information, Suggestion and Complainant Office to harness information for the security service at their various locations will also be done.
The campaign against indiscipline will also feature in promoting the country’s national security. Without mincing words, he reiterated the aim of strengthening the Economic and Organised Crime Unit (EOCO) to boost their effort in the fight against white-collar crimes. Education through awareness on civic duties was noted but he stressed the strategy of mobilizing public opinion against corruption.
Further on the above, Sakara said the CPP’s fight against corruption will also involve putting down measures to ensure the recovery of stolen money or assets of the state. He opined that if there are challenges with the Attorney General’s (AG) capacity in prosecuting, successfully, criminal cases then the argument for the separation of the role of the AG is worth putting into action. The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) will equally benefit from the CPP’s aim of strengthening constitutionally mandated bodies.
On Decentralization, Dr. Abu Sakara categorically stated the need for a public sector reform programme to reduce the powers at the central level. He therefore shared a similar position but different analysis on the position of President John Mahama’s political, financial and administrative decentralization.
Managing oil revenue was a significant theme in the debate but Dr Abu Sakara did not mince words in repeating boldly what is written in the CPP’s manifesto. His agenda on science and technology will be to ensure broad intervention in closing the science and technology gap which is seen as a determining factor in income gaps. Robust polytechnics will be needed through investment and expansion whiles industries would be committed into deeper relationship with educational institutions in research and development.
It is within the above context that he would establish a GH˘10 million Research and Development Funds for the promotion of science and technology and innovation. He also pledged to improve the quality of technical and vocational institutions.
Protecting marine natural resource was another subject of debate and Dr. Abu Sakara unequivocally stated CPP’s programme in conserving marine resources and building local capacity for key players in the fishing industry.
When the question was posed about women and children, he gave a histo-democratic record of the CPP’s commitment in promoting women efforts in active participation in public life. Citing the current crop of women in the CPP today, Sakara was firm to reiterate his affirmative action policy across board.
Women and children are affected through maternal mortality which was a major subject of debate on the day. Nevertheless, the CPP Presidential candidate managed to display his usual best by enforcing the need for basic child birth delivery equipment at various established community health posts and argued for the need to expand roads in especially the rural areas where there is high record of death during pregnancy.
When asked how he will ensure ethical standards and regulation in the media, he mentioned the need for the capacity of the National Media Commission to be enhanced. So he stated boldly the CPP’s commitment to put GH˘2million to the National Media Commission and further encouraged all to be involved in strengthening the role of the media.
Speaking on CPP’s foreign policy, he lamented on the four traditional pillars of our foreign policy, as a country, since independence. They included Non-Aligned Movement, UN, Pan-Africanism and Regional Integration. “In a world where powerful nations want to decide for all, we must stand firm” he said. He called for the need to revisit Pan-Africanism and cited the case of Western interference in La Cote d’Ivoire as not positive.
Dr. Sakara also pledged to strengthen relations with neighboring countries to prevent threats from unrecognized illegal forces.