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Diasporia News of Monday, 4 February 2008

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Nduom Meets Ghanaians In California

The Flagbearer of the Convention People?s Party (CPP) has met a cross section of Ghanaians in the USA at three town hall meetings in California. The Nduom for President 08 Campaign considers these Town Hall meetings to be quite important because Ghanaians Abroad are special stakeholders. The contributions they make to the Ghanaian economy through the cash and the skills they transfer back home have been widely acknowledged.

Dr. Nduom is the only Presidential Candidate who is actively supported by a non-partisan, broad-based Ghanaian group, Citizens for a Better Ghana (CFABG) with chapters in North America, UK, Europe and South Africa. CFABG hosted the Town Hall meetings for Dr. Nduom in California and plans additional ones in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, DC and Maryland before he returns to Ghana.

During the meetings, the participants asked questions made comments about: -

Reports of increased cocaine trafficking through Ghana and the potential for soiling the country?s reputation abroad.

- Armed robbery and other violent crimes in Ghana.

- Difficulties encountered in clearing goods ? particularly vehicles at the ports.

- Dual citizenship and the implementation of ROPAA.

- The Concentration of decision-making and power at the center in Accra.

- Infrastructure problems particularly electricity, water and roads.

- Where the Dr. Nduom will find money to implement his priority projects if he became the President.

- The Team Dr. Nduom will put in place to run the country when he becomes President.

- What the Flagbearer will do to create jobs for the many unemployed youth in the country.

- The efforts the CPP was making to attract the youth to the Party.

- Corruption ? many expressed the view that the NDC lacks the moral capacity to deal with the matter and that while the NPP administration started well, it has also given up due to the activities of its own leading members. They wanted to know what a CPP administration would do about it.

- What Dr. Nduom will do to implement the constitutional provision for Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education. Dr. Nduom used the opportunity to describe the differences in ideas between him and the other Presidential Candidates while answering the questions. He repeated his commitment to a Campaign of Ideas and Solutions and invited the other Presidential Candidates to join in ensuring a positive campaign that will bring peace to the country after the elections. He also confirmed his readiness to engage in debates with the other Candidates so that the differences in ideas, experience and readiness to administer the affairs of the country can become clearer.

Infrastructure development he said will be a high priority of his administration together with universal education and job creation. The difference to him is that he is determined to bridge the development gaps between the north and the south on the one hand and the rural areas and the urban areas on the other hand. Standard solutions for infrastructure and school facility construction will be used to close development gaps in the country. He promised to ensure that standard first class highways are built to link all regional capitals to open up the country for development. He cited the example of the poor road network linking the Upper West and Upper East Regions (particularly between the two regional capitals ? Wa and Bolga) as important reasons for the low level of development in those regions. Having been Energy Minister before, Dr. Nduom said that he has a plan to make Ghana a net exporter of power once again in four years.

The CPP flagbearer said he would separate the Office of Attorney General from that of the Minister of Justice to allow for the independence of the prosecutor and thereby provide a better opportunity than exists today to fight corruption in all its forms without interference from politicians. He acknowledged the worrisome nature of the drug menace and violent crime and promised to seek international assistance and cooperation given the global nature of the drug trade. However, he will concentrate on strengthening the Ghanaian law enforcement agencies particularly the police service with modern equipment and better conditions of service. He will introduce an agenda to amend the constitution to allow for the election of District Chief Executives and all Assembly Members and prevent Ministers of State from being Parliamentarians. Dr. Nduom declared that he would not mind being a one term President if that will allow him to implement the right solutions to Ghana?s problems quickly without regard to political factors.

To him, the lack of money was not the reason for the low level of development across the country. He blamed it on leadership over the years that lacked a sense of urgency in implementing solutions. He will accelerate development by providing leadership with a sense of urgency and appointing the best people to positions without regard to ethnic origin, religion or political affiliation. To promote job creation, he will use the state?s purchasing power, tax incentives and market mechanisms to support local industries and initiate a well-planned public works program to put the youth to work. He asked them to support the Black Stars and find means to support the development of sports in their home communities back in Ghana. Source:Campaign Committee - Nduom for President 08

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