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General News of Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Source: Crusading Guide

Addo Kufuor defends himself

Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, MP for Manhyia, who wants to become the President of Ghana on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has challenged a news report which suggested that he does not deserve to be President.

Dr. Addo Kufuor, the former Defence Minister, told this paper in an interview that the said story was ‘below the belt’ for him and that the issue at stake had nothing to do with his presidential ambition thus, the linkage was unfair.

The story was that a group of deprived families whose farm lands had been seized without compensation and used for the construction of a military buffer zone at Apremdo near Takoradi in the Western Region, had unleashed their anger at Dr. Addo Kufuor, accusing him of dishonesty.

According to the landowners, Dr. Addo Kufuor, in his capacity as the then Defence Minister, held an official meeting with all the stakeholders and promised that the money for the compensation was ready and would be paid to them (owners). They said two years after the promise, the money had still not been paid to them and that Dr. Addo Kufuor was completely unconcerned about his promise, and so was likely to do same, should he become President of Ghana. According to them, he would make promises he could not fulfill.

Dr. Addo Kufuor on his part, maintained that when he made the said promise two years ago, the money was indeed ready and could have been dispatched for immediate payment by then.

He explained that the said money was a public fund and that time was needed for a meticulous investigation and due diligence to ascertain the rightful owners of the land in order to prevent wrongful payment.

The Manhyia MP explained further that the said lands were not taken by the NPP government but rather by the First Republic, under President Kwame Nkrumah, whiles the NDC government, under President Rawlings, also seized some of the said lands.

He rationalized that the NPP government should be given some credit for making arrangements to compensate the land owners, something all past governments had failed to do.

Addo Kufuor said he very much deserved to be President of Ghana because he had not taken anybody’s land and had not made a promise he could not fulfill.

He urged people to judge him by his record as a politician, both as a Parliamentarian and Defence Minister.

He promised that the people of Apremdo would have their compensation paid them as soon as the issue of documentation was properly settled.