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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2011

Source: peacefmonline

President Mills Replies Nana Akufo-Addo

President John Evans Atta Mills has derisively hit back at flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, for declaring that the NPP must win the 2012 elections “at all cost” saying he really had a good laugh when he heard the statement.

President Mills opines that the NPP flagbearer’s comments were ill-thought out and his hankering to win the 2012 polls by all means could spell doom for the country.

Nana Akufo Addo, at a meeting with students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch of the NPP, is reported to have said that the NPP is the only party in the country that can make the much desired transformation a reality and urged the students to ensure that he is elected president in 2012 “at all cost”.

He added that the world has no time for visionless and unimaginative leaders and needs leaders who can think and act big to bring development in a country, hence his plea to be elected as president.

“The world was never built by people of little vision and little imagination, the world belongs to those who can think big, act big and do big things and for that to happen the only political force in our country that can bring about this transformation and change is the New Patriotic Party…There is no other party that can do it. At all cost we should win the election of 2012,” he declared.

But in a sharp riposte, President Mills who likened the 2012 elections to a football match, whiles speaking to the press on Wednesday, said Nana Addo’s comments were in bad taste, pointing out that no team goes into a football game believing there will be victory at all cost.

“When I heard this statement, I chuckled because as you all know Nana Akufo-Addo and I were team mates. We were both soccer players. He was a midfielder and I was a central defender…Not once did we go into the football field and say to ourselves before the match that this is match we should win at all cost…We always pledged to do our best knowing fully well that when you go into a match you may meet a superior team…If you are going into a match and you are going to be the referee and ignore the strength of the other side… then obviously you are not in for a match, you are in for something else,” he stated.

The NPP flagbearer, at the KNUST meeting, also insisted that the Electoral Commission implements an efficient and verifiable biometric registration system, failure of which the possibility of election violence cannot be ruled out.

But President Mills reiterated his commitment to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in 2012, and warned against taking Ghanaians for granted since they will not “countenance violence, bloodshed just because they want this particular government or that particular group in power”.

“I have given the assurance to the people of Ghana and I made it also during my UN speech that we are committed to conducting free, fair and transparent elections. This is because this is what Ghana deserves and this is what our people expect us to do…Ghanaians want peace and without peace we cannot develop. We should not take Ghanaians for granted. We are not going to countenance violence, bloodshed just because they want this particular government or that particular group in power. They want a smooth transition so that they can go about their normal business. Let us not misinterpret the signals of the people of Ghana,” President said.