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General News of Saturday, 15 September 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

My Commitment To Peace Is Non Negotiable- Akufo-Addo

The flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the party’s commitment to peace and stability of the nation, before, during and after the elections “is non-negotiable”.

He said just as he pledged and abided by that commitment in the 2008 elections which produced a winner with the slimmest of margins in Ghanaian electoral history, he still held on to the promise that the spilling of a single drop of a Ghanaian blood was not worth his victory.

The NPP flag bearer was speaking to the media when National Youth Organisers of political parties with representation in Parliament and working for peace, under the umbrella of the Inter Party Youth Committee (IPYC), called on him at his Nima residence in Accra.

The IPYC team, which was led by its leader, Mr Ludwig Hlodze, who is also the National Youth Organiser of the National Democratic (NDC), includes his counterparts from the PNC, Mr Abu Ramadan and CPP, Mr Abdul Kadiri Rauf. Although the NPP National Youth Organiser, Mr Anthony Karbo, is a member of the IPYC team, he was not at Thursday’s meeting.

Nana Akufo-Addo recalled that as the presidential candidate for the ruling NPP in the 2008 elections, he lived up to his pledge to ensure that not a single blood was spilled. There was also a peaceful transition, he said, adding that nothing had changed about his commitment to peace.

He added that the NPP was committed to peace and stability, but the matter was not completely in the hands of the party alone and mentioned the security agencies and the government as some of the major players whose actions and inaction were crucial.

He noted that the security agencies held part of the key to success or otherwise to the peace and stability of the country and therefore, if they carried out their work impartially and professionally, it would guarantee what all well-meaning Ghanaians were yearning for.

Nana Akufo-Addo urged members of the security agencies to adhere to their professional ethics and procedures so that they would not be working to favour a party in power or out of power but as agents of the state working in the interest of all Ghanaians.

He said the NPP had a very audacious programme for the development of the nation, especially to transform it, and the party “can’t do that if Ghana is in pieces. We will make sure that Ghana stays as one piece, because unity is central to that objective”.

Referring to the NPP’s antecedents, the Dankwa-Busia-Domo tradition, the NPP flag bearer said the party and its tradition had been fighting for the last 70 years for a country where the rule of law and human rights were paramount and that now that the country was within the context of achieving the vision of their forebears, “the NPP will be the last to destroy the nation”.

Opening the interaction, Mr Ludwig Hlodze said the leadership of the youth of the political parties had noted that as a nation, Ghanaians appreciated peace and stability, the youth were alarmed at the rate at which some non-governmental organisations were taking undue advantage of the situation to enrich themselves.

“We appreciate peace and we know that all our efforts at campaigning to win political power would be in vain if there is no peace, particularly when we cast our minds back to some of the countries in the sub-region engulfed in turmoil,” he added.

He added that apart from meeting all the flag bearers of the various political parties to assure them of their resolve to work in unity, as youth organisers from different political parties, they woulde also educate their followers to know that politics was a contest of ideas and not an avenue for people to create confusion.

That, he said, was the only way a peaceful and developed Ghana could be built, irrespective of which political party won the elections.

He announced that already the team had visited the PNC flag bearer, Mr Hassan Ayariga, and would visit all the remaining aspirants, as well as interact with former President J.J. Rawlings and J.A. Kufuor to tap into their wisdom on how to ensure peaceful elections.

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