With the December 7 polls entering the final stretch, the presidential candidates of the two main parties are going all out to court the electorate in their respective strongholds.
The NDC has targeted to split the popular votes with the NPP in the Eastern Region, which has consistently voted for the main opposition party.
The NPP, on the other hand, is seeking to change the narrative that the Volta Region is the ‘World Bank’ of the NDC.
In all the areas the presidential candidates had visited, they had been welcomed by enthusiastic crowds and party faithful.
In Kade in the Eastern Region where the President held his first rally of the Eastern Regional tour, he called on Ghanaians to be wary of the juicy promises being made by the opposition NPP, saying: “It is easier said than done.”
Using the analogy of a football match to buttress his assertion, he said sometimes when Asamoah Gyan missed an opportunity to score a goal in a football match, people tended to blame him.
“But when you field those critics in a simple football match, they cannot even run,” he said.
He said in an election period, it was common for some politicians to resort to telling lies about their opponents and making every promise just to entice the electorate.
“This is exactly what our opponents are doing,” he told the crowd of NDC supporters at the Kade main lorry park.
“But God is on our side and I am very confident that He will see us to victory,” he added.
Although the start of the rally delayed for about two hours, that did not deter the enthusiastic supporters of the party from attending.
Amid drumming and dancing, they waited for their presidential candidate who was locked up at Takorase, about 10 kilometres away, inaugurating a new community day senior high school.
And when the President finally arrived about 5 p.m., the atmosphere was charged.
Lies won’t work
President Mahama said no amount of lies coming from the opposition about him and the NDC would stop them from doing what was good for the nation.
He told the supporters that nowhere had he stated that he had finished solving all the problems of the country.
“I have not said anything like that,” he said, but indicated that every objective person would not run away from the strong foundation for development made under his administration.
President Mahama took a look at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and said there was no basis for claims by his opponents that the scheme had collapsed under his watch.
Describing the allegation as palpable falsehood, he said the scheme had rather seen improvement, as shown by the statistics.
He referred to a fact check made by Accra-based Joy FM on claims that the NHIS was collapsing and said the findings proved otherwise.
Going into figures, the President said while nine million Ghanaians accessed health facilities in 2008, 29 million Ghanaians attended hospitals with NHIS cards in 2015.
Besides, in 2008, claims paid totalled GH¢183 million, as against claims of over GH¢1 billion in 2015.
President Mahama later addressed another rally at Asamankese.
From Kpando, Tim Dzamboe reports that if the number of people who welcomed the NPP presidential candidate in parts of the Volta Region was anything to go by, then Nana Akufo-Addo could make dramatic in-roads in the region in the upcoming elections.
Enthusiastic crowds welcomed him as he made whistle stops at Have, Anfoega and Vakpo on his campaign tour.
At Vakpo, the Paramount Chief, Togbe Gbogbolulu V, said he supported the policy of one district, one factory and expressed the hope that when elected, Nana Akufo-Addo would not renege on his promise.
The flag bearer continued from there to Nkonya towns and Tapa Abotoase where, although it was dark, the people lined up the streets to receive him.
In his message, Nana Akufo-Addo said when elected, he would put in place policies to enhance the development of the country.
He said Ghanaians did not deserve to be suffering but for bad policies which had led to the collapse of many systems.
He said the educational and health systems would be overhauled, just like the agricultural sector, to bring back the smiles on the faces of the people.