There is no serious ideological differences between the two major political parties in Ghana – New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor Baffour Agyemang- Duah, the Chief Executive Officer of the John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation has said.
He said both the NPP and the NDC just treasured to seek the well-being of the Ghanaian.
Prof Agyemang-Duah made these remarks in Accra at a public lecture in celebration of the death of Konrad Adenauer, a former Chancellor of Germany.
The lecture on the theme “Centre Right Political Ideology: Does it still Matter Today?, was organised by the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
Prof Agyemang-Duah said the NPP, which claimed to be a property owning democracy party (rightist) under President John Agyekum Kufuor was able to bring in major social interventions such as the public transportation system and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which were all pointing social democratic ideology.
He also cited that the NDC, which also claimed to be a social democracy (leftist) under former President John Dramani Mahama was borrowing more and heavily taxing the people for infrastructural development.
Prof Agyemang-Duah noted that what former late President Hilla Limann said “My ideology is Ghana” was right; declaring that “because we don’t have to necessarily create ideologies when we don’t have any”.
He said both the NPP and NDC all came to power to introduce programmes, some introduced more social programmes than the others.
He said the Mahama government was more interested in infrastructure while Kufuor’s government was more interested in social interventions, but both ways go together to develop the country.
“So I think that is the best part that we have. So we are not at each other’s throats ideologically, which is good. In some countries we have extreme partisan ideologies and they cannot see eye to eye; but in our case even though they are partisan, they see eye to eye often times,” he said.
“We have two political parties that seems to be alike in many ways. Don’t mind when they sit publicly to chastise themselves and insult themselves, the fact is that when you go to the bottom they all think alike in terms of seeking the wellbeing of the Ghanaian.
“The roots may differ somewhere, but the difference is not like in the US where if the Democrats come in you see to the left, while if the Republicans come in there is swing to the right, you don’t see that in Ghana,” he added.
He said: “NDC was there with Mahama, he left, what is the most significant change? You tell me. Not much. May be as we go along, we may begin to see some changes in terms of the programmes and initiatives this government will bring. Like they are talking about planting for food and jobs, but that is developing agriculture, operation feed yourself, it is not different from Mahama’s government also seeking to provide fertilizers for farmers. Except that perhaps the emphasis have shifted.”
Mr Christopher Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said today, Germany and Europe could not be mentioned without the contributions of Konrad Adenauer and was confident that Konrad Adenauer’s legacy would endure for ages to come.
Mr Burkhardt Hellemann, Resident Representative of KAS said there was a lot for Germany and the rest of the world to learn from; thus, the ideas of Konrad Adenauer.
Mr Ebenezer B. Sekyi-Hughes, a former Speaker of Parliament lauded Konrad Adenauer’s contributions to global democratic governance.