Politics of Friday, 15 August 2014
The ringing endorsements that have so far characterised the campaign of Nana Akufo-Addo to become the nominee of the New Patriotic Party for the 2016 presidential election is gathering momentum as all 33 constituency chairmen, 16 regional executives and the vast majority of Members of Parliament from the Eastern Region have thrown their weight behind Nana Akufo-Addo.
The declaration of support for his candidature took place at the Ascension Hall of the Presbyterian Church, Koforidua, when Nana Akufo-Addo resumed his campaign, after an 11-day break to enable party officers across the various regions monitor the limited voter registration exercise.
Chairman Kofi Ahenkorah Marfo, Chairman for Achiase constituency, who began the rounds of endorsement, on behalf of all 33 Chairmen who were individually present, explained that prior to Nana Akufo-Addo leaving for the United Kingdom, after the verdict of the election petition, "we pleaded with him to ensure that he returned to lead the party into victory into the 2016 election."
Chairman Marfo noted Nana Akufo-Addo heeded their cry when he returned from the UK, as he indicated to Ghanaians in March this year that he was going to seek the party's mandate for the 2016 election.
"If Nana Akufo-Addo listened to our plea and has come back to offer himself, so as to lead the party into the next election, why should we bring someone else? Where we have gotten to, it is Nana Akufo-Addo who will help us cross the Jordan River," Chairman Marfo stated.
He continued, "It is because of our call to you (Nana Akufo-Addo) that is why you decided to contest. Once you agreed to contest, we the 33 Chairmen threw our support behind you, and will continue to support you and make sure that in 2016, you win the election and become the President of Ghana in 2017."
Following the endorsement of the regional chairmen was that of the Members of Parliament from the region.
MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, elected as the representative of the MPs in the region noted that none of the 6 presidential aspirants contesting Nana Akufo-Addo have what it takes to beat Nana Akufo-Addo, but are only contesting for reasons best known to them.
"They are pleading with you, however, to give them one or two votes and give the rest to Nana Akufo-Addo so they are not humiliated. Does this tell of people who have good intentions? The minimum votes this region is giving to Nana Akufo-Addo is 96%," Atta Akyea declared, to a rapturous ovation from the delegates gathered.
"He is tried and tested, he has been loyal to this party and has always protected the party's interests and we the MPs in this region are solidly behind him," Atta Akyea noted.
Former 1st Vice Chairman of the party, Steven Ntim, who also contested the Chairmanship position of the party also endorsed the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo.
He explained that in the aftermath of the Tamale National Delegates Conference, "I could have listened to my stomach and offered my support to the highest bidder. But I said no. I could have listened to my heart and used my emotions to decide who to back. But I said no. However, I listened to my head and it told me to throw my support behind Nana Akufo-Addo."
This decision, according to him, has been necessitated by the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo has been marketed to Ghanaians "and there is no need to reinvent the wheel."
"Ghanaians are just waiting for the NPP to bring him. Secondly, Nana Akufo-Addo has empathy for Ghanaians. Nana Addo could have caused us to embark on demonstrations to say we do not accept the results of the elections, but he did not do so. We all know where the verdict should have gone in the 2012 election petition, and yet still Nana Addo still accepted the verdict. The sympathy Ghanaians have for Nana Addo is an asset for the party," he added.
Mr. Ntim concluded by stating that the NPP has an unwritten tradition of rewarding loyalty "and he is clearly the one who meets the criteria amongst all the other aspirants and will be rewarded accordingly."
Present at the Ascension Hall were Stephen Ntim, former 1st Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party; Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, MP for Atiwa West; Hon. Dan Kwaku Botwe, MP for Okere; Hon. O.B. Amoah, MP for Akuapem South; Hon. Seth Acheampong, MP for Mpraeso; Hon. David Oppong Kusi, MP for Ofoase/Ayirebi; Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South; Hon. W.O. Boafo, MP for Akropong; Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour, MP for Nkawkaw; Hon. J.B. Danquah Adu, MP for Abuakwa North; Hon. Peter Wiafe Peprah, MP for Abetifi; Kwabena Amankwah Asiamah, MP for Fanteakwa North; Kiston Akomeng Kissi, Eastern Regional NPP Chairman; Yaw Osafo Maafo, former Minister for Finance and former MP for Akim Oda; Hackman Owusu Agyeman, former Minister for Works and Housing and 1st National Treasurer of the NPP; Boakye Agyarko, the 2012 Campaign Manager for the NPP; all 16 regional executives of the party in the region; and the 33 constituency chairmen.