As the manifesto plagiarism feud between the two leading political parties (NDC and NPP) escalates, many political stalwarts have aired their opinions on the matter and the latest to follow suit is Isidore Kpotufe, a Project Leader at policy think tank IMANI.
Mr. Kpotufe and a couple of others made their own opinions known on Joy Fm’s “Ghana Connect” platform in the evening of Friday 16th September. He stated that the reason the two political parties chose to attack each other on the basis of manifesto idea theft is because they do not have the “capacity to make informed promises and policies that can survive global scrutiny”.
Kpotufe further stated that rather than just make their manifesto ideas and visions known to the masses, “they must demonstrate how these visions will be executed.” Representatives of the two opposing parties also gave their take on the manifesto plagiarism feud.
It should be recalled that the manifesto plagiarism feud began when President and NDC flag bearer John Dramadi Mahama revealed the highlights of the party’s manifesto at an event held at the Banquet Hall of the State House last Tuesday. The NPP soon after began their accusations with its Director of Communications Nana Akomea saying that all the highlights Mahama had revealed were the same as the vision the NPP leader Nana Akufo-Addo has been pitching throughout his campaign tour.
The governing NDC immediately fired back stating that it is dumb for NPP, a party yet to release its own manifesto to be accusing another of plagiarism.
The ensuing feud have also led to contradictions among the NPP leaders with one of its lawmakers Kennedy Agyapong describing his party’s accusations on NDC as childish.
To clarify the originality of his NDC’s manifesto, President Mahama released a statement saying;
They (NPP) say the will produce it (Their manifesto) on October 8, that gives them enough time to copy as many things in our manifesto as possible. And so they are free, the ideas are there we have the ideas, we’ve been governing this country, we are running the programmes, we know where we’ve come from, we know where we are going. And so we have the ideas to make this country better and we will continue to do the work to move this country to a new pedestal and I’m certain we will win this election and that by 2021 when I leave office, we would have made Ghana one of the model countries in West Africa and Ghana will be the envy of our sub-region.”
Panelists on the Ghana talk show made attempts to deal with ensuing questions such as the authenticity and credibility of a manifesto. An NDC representative Israel Vernunye in an attempt to define a manifesto said that it is “a guiding principle, a vehicle through which a party will implement its policies.”
Vernunye went ahead to criticize the NPP’s one constituency, one million dollar promise while defending his NDC’s mandate, crediting their focus. He called the NPP promise a small vision that would do nothing to advance the economic situation of Ghana.
On the other hand, the NPP also had a representative in the person of Abu Jinapor who opposed Verunye’s statements saying that his party’s flag bearer Afufo-Addo does not only tout a big vision but also has the competence and credibility to bring it to fruition. He revealed that the NPP’s technique would be similar to that used by latter day developing countries including Japan which would no doubt have an evidently positive effect on even the least Ghanaian.