NDC’s quest for absorption of tertiary fees, political mischief intended to cause public disaffection against NPP— NPP caucus
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus in Parliament has accused their National Democratic Congress (NDC) colleagues of attempting to whip up public sentiment against them in the matter of the rejection of a motion, which sought to absorb fees for tertiary students.
According to the caucus, claims by the NDC members of Parliament (MPs) that the NPP was not compassionate to the plight of students in tertiary institutions were untrue.
The NPP caucus on Thursday, voted against the Private Member Motion moved by NDC MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, for the House, to resolve that the president took steps to absorb fees of students in the country’s tertiary institutions as part of government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) alleviation programme.
Following the negation of the motion, the NDC MPs have accused their NPP colleagues of not being responsive to the plight of students and their parents in an economy ravaged by COVID-19.
But addressing the press in Parliament on Friday, the NPP MPs said the impression being created that the government was not willing to help tertiary students was a political mischief intended to cause public disaffection for the NPP.
According to the caucus, the NPP throughout history has demonstrated that it has Ghanaian students at heart and same has been underscored by the implementation of the Free Senior High School Programme.
“We have the track record and will be first to take action. Students and parents should know that if any relief is to be provided the government will do it in a manner they would get the real benefit,” Deputy Caucus Leader and NPP MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin said.
In his view, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has demonstrated commitment in that regard and has provided support for the education sector more than any other government in Ghana’s history.
He explained that their decision to vote against the motion was because same was vague, discriminatory, had no financial impact analysis on the state coffers and an invitation to an illegality and unconstitutionality.
“How do you in one breath invite government to take steps to absorb fees of students in public tertiary institutions, and in another breath say the government should consider supporting accredited private tertiary institutions?, Mr Afenyo-Markin asked.
He said “the ambiguity in it was just too much. All that we are saying is that if you really want to have a plan for the tertiary students in this COVID-19 era then we must sit together with the executive.
“Our colleagues created the impression that we do not support the urgent need to provide some relief for our students at the tertiary level, but that is most misconceived”.
He rejected the NDC caucus’ allegation that the NPP side of the House was not willing to build consensus as they have been admonished by the Speaker of Parliament so that the House could run smoothly.
To him, the motion was just to court public sympathy than the intention it sought to achieve.