Some chief fishermen and canoe owners in the Central and Western regions have pledged to help bring the flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, back to power to help reverse the dwindling fortunes of the fishing industry.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the former President at his office in Cantonments, Accra Wednesday, the leader of the delegation, who is also the chief fisherman of Apeosika, Nana Pegu, said the visit had become necessary due to the total neglect of the sector by the government.
Nana Pegu explained that under the NDC government, the sector started to progress as a result of fulfilled promises that delivered the needed logistics such as premix fuel, outboard motors, among other logistics, to support the growth and sustainability of the fisheries industry.
Addressing the delegation with words of gratitude, former President Mahama said the visit by the fisherfolk was a testament to the failure of the government to address the needs of the industry.
Former President Mahama said the NDC was open to suggestions on how to change the fortunes of the industry and restore it back to the path of growth.
He said the late President John Evans Atta Mills learnt from the fisherfolk and understood their problems, which guided the policies that were formulated to restructure the fishing industry.
“That is why we were able to deliver to meet your challenges including the setting up of landing beaches which also served as the point of distributing premix fuel in each fishing community,” he said.
Former President Mahama said the NDC government provided the needed logistics to facilitate the growth of the industry and also began the construction of cold stores to preserve fish in an attempt to open up the fisheries industry.
“We built cold stores along the landing beaches and although we didn’t finish, we were going to continue,” he said.
Touching on the proposed new voters register, Mr Mahama said the timing for the compilation of a new voters register was short and could spark off tensions if the Electoral Commission (EC) did not rescind its decision.
“That is why we are telling the EC that they should rescind their decision because before they became leaders of the EC there was peace so if they don’t listen to counsel and go ahead with the new register and there is chaos they should come out and claim responsibility,” he said.
The Chairman of the party, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, thanked the delegation for the visit and assured them of the party’s resolve to help restore the fortunes of the fishing industry.
For his part, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketia, said true democracy was hinged on a government executing projects and policies that the people had demanded and not one that would force unpopular policies on the people.