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General News of Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Source: GNA

Akufo-Addo set out qualities for NPP Flag bearer

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA - Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a Presidential Aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Tuesday, set out the qualities that he expected delegates to consider for the selection of the party's presidential candidate for Elections 2008. He stated, "In my mind, there are five qualities which delegates should focus on when they choose a Presidential Candidate; Record of Active Work for the Party, Ability to Unite the Party, Capacity to Win the Presidential Election, Leadership Qualities and Vision. "The next NPP flag bearer must have the courage, confidence, competence, restraint, judgment, balance and purposefulness to be an executive leader," Nana Akufo-Addo said at a well-attended news conference to launch his bid to be the party's flag bearer. The Special National Delegates Congress of the NPP is slated for December 22, this year during which over 2000 delegates would select a flag bear from about 17 presidential aspirants to lead the party in Elections 2008.

The NPP Presidential Aspirant said it required more than old age, party loyalty, charisma, eloquence, acclaimed youthfulness, good looks or campaign cash to win elections to lead a country. "The next leader must be able to stand and fight legitimate causes for both party and country. We need a leader who can transform the ideas and hopes of every man and woman of this country into our new reality, a reality where we stand erect as a nation together, on our own two feet," he said.

Other criteria were, "personality with the leadership qualities necessary to protect and move forward the nation in the next chapter of its progress".

"One who can lead the party to take the next bold steps towards the prosperity and general well-being of every citizen of Ghana, and with the capacity to achieve social justice for every Ghanaian, whether rural or urban dweller".

Other qualities, Nana Akufo-Addo noted should include the ability to intensify efforts in pursuing a development agenda that was broad-based, inclusive and sustainable.

He said: "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. Fairness is essential or we cannot play ball at all. All Ghanaians have a right and duty to engage in and profit from the country's economic growth."

The NPP Presidential Aspirant said the party over the years in government had demonstrated through its policies for education, health, youth employment, small loan schemes, that it subscribed to the notion that government had a responsibility to provide all its citizens with skills and opportunities to create their own wealth.

Nana Akufo-Addo explained that a well-known, committed party activist and loyalist could easily command the respect and admiration of the foot soldiers in the various communities to get the Party and its candidate elected.

He said party unity after congress was a key to unlock a strong victory for the party in Elections 2008 saying; "After the winner is announced on December 22nd, the party would need to come together quickly and bring on board as many opponents and undecided voters as possible to build a strong united front for the general elections and beyond.

"If the NPP is to be the party of national development it has to be the party of national unity, with the unity coming out of itself and it must eschew religious, ethnic or regional divisions. "If the NPP is to promote national reconciliation, it has to promote reconciliation within itself. We must guide against factionalism."

He assured the rank and file of the party that when given the nod all party members would be treated alike, "whether or not they voted for me".

The delegates have to elect a respected political leader who is also competent, courageous, well known and popular, someone with extensive exposure, a diplomat around high negotiation tables, he said.

"A politician who can be confidently marketed with ease for the general elections, and then for global consumption, in the highly competitive trans-national arena.

"A winner will mean choosing a Presidential Candidate who has an extensive knowledge of the electoral terrain in Ghana; a person, who has a rich experience in competing in and winning elections.

"I believe I fit this bill fully. My record as an activist of the Danquah-Busia tradition since the mid-1970s and my work for the Party, beginning as its first National Organiser in 1992 to date, speaks volumes of my commitment, contribution and devotion to the cause of the Party, through thick and thin," Nana Akufo-Addo stressed. 28 Aug. 07

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