General News of Thursday, 21 August 2014
Cataloguing a sterling 30-year career in politics, 2016 Presidential hopeful, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has picked out the most defining moment as when he was elected flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on two occasions - 2008 and 2012.
Nana Addo stated that leading the party was his life's greatest honour. He is therefore calling on party delegates to do him the same honor into the 2016 elections and win power from the NDC.
Nana Addo lost twice to the NDC's John Evans Atta Mills in 2008 and to John Mahama in 2012. His third attempt to lead the party is not without a challenge from two-time opponent Alan Kyerematen, former Information minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former Trade minister Kofi Konadu Apraku and a former Attorney General, Joe Ghartey. Others are Asuogyamang MP, Osei Ameyaw and Mampong MP, Addai Nimoh.
The seven-man list will be whittled to five at the party’s Special Congress set for Sunday, August 31, 2014.
At the age of 33, Akufo-Addo became the General Secretary of the broad-based People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), which led the "NO" campaign in the UNIGOV referendum of 1978, ultimately bringing about the downfall of the Acheampong military government on 5 July 1978, and the restoration of multiparty democratic rule to the country in 1979.
In 1991, Akufo-Addo was the chairman of the Organising Committee of the Danquah-Busia Memorial Club, a club dedicated to the preservation of the memory and ideals of the two great advocates of Ghanaian democracy, J. B. Danquah and K.A Busia, Prime Minister of the Progress Party government of the 2nd Republic of Ghana.
Akufo-Addo travelled throughout Ghana to establish branches of the Club all over the country in the grassroots style for which he is known. These branches eventually transformed into local organs of the NPP after the ban on party politics was lifted prior to the elections of 1993.
In 1992, he became the first national organiser of the NPP and, later that year, campaign manager of the party's first presidential candidate, Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, the man of courage who broke the “culture of silence” in Ghana.
In 1992 Akufo-Addo set up and financed The Statesman newspaper, which has become the unofficial mouthpiece of the NPP.
In 1995, he led the famous “Kume Preko” demonstrations of the Alliance For Change (AFC), a broad-based political pressure group, which mobilised more than a million people onto the streets of Ghana to protest the harsh political and economic conditions of the Rawlings era.
Akufo-Addo was elected three times between 1996 and 2004 as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana.
He has been Foreign minister, Minister of Justice who was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, which had been used to intimidate the media and criminalise free speech
But despite a long career, the man who will turn 72 by the time for the 2016 presidential elections wants to have a third go at becoming president.
“If I look at the NPP, we can win power with unity and hard work with Akufo as leader in 2016” Nana stated.
Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo was addressing party delegates from all 26 constituencies of the Western region in Tarkwa on Wednesday.
He noted that the Ghanaian is now saddled with myriads of difficulties as a result of the bad management of the economy by the NDC Government and the need for the NPP to come back to power.