Akufo-Addo makes U-turn on campaign promise

President Akufo-Addo is reported by several media outlets to have said that he and his incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not promise to build a harbour in Cape Coast, the Central regional capital.

The president who granted an interview to Cape Coast-based Eagle FM on Monday morning as part of activities for a two-day tour of the Central region said, “The commitment was never to (build) a harbour. It was to a landing site. It is very, very important. And you look into page 88 of the NPP manifesto for the 2020 election. It’s very clear”.

“I never said I was going to build a harbour in Cape Coast. I said I was going to build a landing site like what I’ve done in these six other places in the Central Region. Cape Coast will also have its landing site, and the construction of that will start next year. As far as the harbour (is concerned), we have to be clear in our mind, we never committed ourselves… I never said I was going to build a harbour in Cape Coast. I said I was going to build a landing site, and that would start next year,” he stated vehemently.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the president’s statement and present the facts below.

During the launch of the 2020 election manifesto of the NPP on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the University of Cape Coast, Vice president Dr Bawumia, who presented highlights of the manifesto said the construction of a harbour and airport would be a piece of good news for the people of Cape Coast.

“People of Cape Coast, I have good news for you. We are building a new harbour in Cape Coast and a new airport in Cape Coast. It is very critical that we do that. An airport makes a lot of sense in Cape Coast. It’s a real tourist hub, and between Greater Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast, you have a triangle that really is a hub for a lot of economic activity…and it’s a major growth pole if we put an airport here to drive infrastructure drive,” he said.

https://youtu.be/gsDhfnJZNWg

The Vice President’s statement sharply contradicts the President’s statement.

A thorough check of the 2020 manifesto of the NPP revealed the president was factually wrong. Page 160 of the manifesto said upon winning the 2020 elections, the NPP will construct “a new harbour in Cape Coast” and “a new airport in Cape Coast”. This is consistent with Dr Bawumia’s claim at the launch of the manifesto.

A shot of the page that captures the NPP’s promise of constructing a harbour in Cape Coast. |Source: 2020 NPP Manifesto

Confusing 2016 manifesto promise with 2020 promise

Indeed, President Akufo-Addo and the NPP have ever promised to build a landing site in Cape Coast. But that was in 2016.

On page 19 of the 2016 manifesto of the NPP, the party promised to build a landing site in the Central regional capital and other towns in the region and in Accra.

“Continue with the programme of building landing sites and storage facilities, at places such as Cape Coast, Mumford, Teshie, Axim, Keta, Ada, Jamestown, and Winneba,” the manifesto stated.

Screenshot of the NPP’s 2016 manifesto showing the promise of building landing site in Cape Coast | Source: NPP Manifesto 2016

On page 88 of the 2020 manifesto of the NPP, which the president referred to, the party decided to provide an update on the 2016 promise.

The NPP subsequently made fresh promises in the 2020 manifesto to the people of Cape Coast which included building a harbour and an airport.

From the evidence adduced above, it’s clear the president is recanting his decision on building a harbour in Cape Coast.

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