We only did well with infrastructure but at the end of the day, it all boils down to ‘bread and butter’ i.e. doing more social projects which would improve the economy and put money into the pockets of Ghanaians. – Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is the Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency under the umbrella of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He served as the Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Minister of Information under the tenure of Ex-President John Dramani Mahama and the late Former President John Evans Atta Mills respectively and is also currently a ranking member on the committee of foreign affairs.
In an interview with Naya’s column, he was questioned on his thoughts of the NDC re-assuming power in 2020; he answered, “I believe strongly that the NDC would be back in power in 2020. We are living in very different times where information flows at a very high speed which makes it impossible for government to conceal or manage information. The current young generation has very high standards and expects whichever government in power to deliver on the promises for which they voted. The NPP were voted into power because they virtually promised heaven to the people of Ghana. They made Utopian promises which I personally think would be unfulfilled but this doesn’t imply that I don’t wish them well; for the records, I do. The professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee has been set up to investigate and provide a scientific explanation as to why we lost the 2016 elections.
“Though an attempt was made, President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo’s NPP are still struggling with several aspects of the promises made to Ghanaians; a typical example is the ‘free shs’ program. They failed to find enough resources to implement that. Per the budget, provision was made for just one (1) term which only applied to first (1st) year students leaving the 2nd and 3rd year students to fend for themselves and that was contrary to what they promised. If we take a look at ‘one village – one dam’, ‘one million dollar – one constituency’ and ‘one district – one factory’ they promised, The New Patriotic Party made us all assume that these were all ‘stand alone’ promises that every district/constituency should expect but in the 2017 budget they contradicted themselves again. A million dollars was allocated for the dam, factory and for the development authorities too so there again they are struggling to achieve that. We are yet to see the blue print of these factories for every district as promised and the exact time for their establishment in order to create jobs for the youth is still not clear. He continued, “What we are experiencing in the time of the NPP is what I call ‘job substitution’ not ‘job creation’ as expected. They have dismissed the people employed at the time of the NDC only to replace them with their own party members forgetting that those driven away were also Ghanaians. Few weeks ago one hundred DVLA staffers were dismissed only to bring in others to take up those positions; so instead of the current government to create more jobs, they only substituted workers.
He further added, “The Good governance record of the NPP is also quite poor. Observing the reign of terror they have already inflicted on Ghanaians to under the Delta and invisible forces, I must say that many people have already been put off because they are discerning. They Played games with Ghanaians by telling us that there is no evidence to prosecute these forces after seeing everything vividly on the internet. Social Media has allowed for free penetration and saturation of information so the moment an incidence occurs; it is immediately seen in the public’s eye making no room for deception.”
Commenting on the trending one-term presidency in other countries he said, “In France, it could be observed that this trend has become a norm. Francois Hollande and Nicholas Sarkozy were all one-term presidents. Speaking objectively and accurately, in Ghana, former President Mahama was the first one-term sitting president in the 4th republic of Ghana. With regards to our come back in 2020, we’ll definitely be running on his legacy and who best to represent us but him? He led us to victory in 2012 and He championed all the developmental projects in his tenure. So he is the NDC’s best bet for 2020 and would definitely take over from President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo. In Benin, a sitting president lost an election and came back after his opponent served only a term in office. So we are definitely working hard to give President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo a perfect rest in 2020 as done to John Dramani Mahama. They have showed us the right way so we’ll only lead by their shining example; so I am internally optimistic about our victory come 2020 also because the NPP has made our job much easier.”
Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is an old student of the Presbyterian Boys secondary school (class of 1999) where he held a number of positions including the Vice president of the scripture union, trustee of the Greater Accra students Representative council, president of the civic education club and a very active debator who together with his team, won the 1999 Regional debate for his beloved alma mater. He further read Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and psychology at the University of Ghana where he had his first degree and held other enviable top positions; he was President of the National Union of Ghana students (NUGs), the editor in chief of Common wealth Hall’s ‘Echo Magazine’ and also for ‘The Forum’ which was the mouthpiece of the SRC. It was then rumored that he had a stint with the NPP but strongly went ahead to debunk them all. He had his National Service at the parliament house where his interest in politics was sparked. He also holds a masters Degree from the University of Leicester.
He then joined the National Democratic congress on ideological grounds including the knowledge that, the NDC supports the vulnerable in the society.
He was born to strong educationist Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Okudzeto, who was a matron in a number of educational institutions. After his parents’ divorce, his mother got married again to one Mr. Ablakwa and that explains his combination of both powerful surnames.
He is married with two children, the five (5) year old Ndiva (meaning; the morning has come) and three (3) year old Nditsi (meaning; Morning Dew).
When asked if he would ever run for president, he answered, “I honestly haven’t given that a thought and I am not the kind of person who harbors ambitions but should I be approved one day, I might.”
By: Nana Yaa Asabea// facebook: Naya’s Column// Instagram: @naya_233