General News of Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Source: The Chronicle

Akufo-Addo pleads: I need one more chance

A Confident Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, the two-time Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), ignited the hopes of enthusiastic supporters of the party last Friday when he predicted that the party would be third-time lucky in 2016, with him at the helm of affairs.

Nana Akufo-Addo, beaming with optimism, told a crowd of supporters at the Centre for National Culture that all that he requires from delegates and Ghanaians at large is to give him just one more opportunity to prove himself and put the country back on the pedestal of hope and prosperity.

“You have honoured me in 2008, you honoured me in 2012 and now all I am asking for is another opportunity, what is gone is gone, and now it’s about the future, give me the chance and see if I won’t deliver,” Nana Addo pleaded.

He noted that with the renewed enthusiasm of supporters of the party and the incompetence of the Mahama-led NDC administration, what the party needs is unity and hard work, predicting that with God on the side of the party, victory would beckon the NPP.

“What I need is just one more round, one more effort from each and everyone, and I am sure NPP will be back to power, there is no doubt Ghanaians are clamouring for our return, and I believe together we can vote out this incompetent NDC administration,” Nana Akufo declared, amidst cheers from party supporters.

The NPP former Presidential Candidate, who was interacting with delegates ahead of the party’s Super Delegates’ Congress slated for August 31, this year, touched on a number of issues ranging from his health, age, unity, the collapse of Ghana’s economy under the NDC, the free SHS policy and quality leadership when elected as President of Ghana.

The NPP Presidential aspirant blasted his critics, both internal and outside the party, for spreading false rumours about his health status and questioning his ability to lead as a septuagenarian.

Nana Addo reiterated his statement, sounding very optimistic that he is very strong, physically, mentally and intellectually to lead the party and to win the elections in December 2016, calling on supporters to ignore those rumours about his health status and physical ability.

“I hear some people say I am old and 70 and so I can’t lead; some even say I am sick and, therefore, do not have the physical strength to lead, but as you see me here today, so I will be, I am very strong and ready for the job,” he confidently declared.

The former Presidential Candidate of the NPP, in buttressing his argument about age and wisdom, cited the instance of Ghana’s neighbouring country, Ivory Coast, where he said, had witnessed a total economic transformation under the leadership of 72-year-old Alhassan Ouattarra.

“I want to tell those who have been making this propaganda about age that I will not take them far away, just our backyard Ivory Coast, a country that had seen 10 years of ravaged civil war, but has now become one of the best-performing economies in the world, all within three years, and that is under a 72-year-old leader.

“Ouattarra, who is 72, has no doubt performed far 100 better than our so-called youth leader who appears to be sleeping on the job,” Nana Addo emphasized.

The NPP former flagbearer reiterated that the party has learnt its lessons from the 2012 general elections and the Supreme Court petition ruling, emphasizing that the party would no longer sit down and allow anyone to manipulate the outcome of the elections.

He stressed that the country’s highest legal body has clearly indicated that elections can only be won at the polling stations, and the NPP would take a strong cue from the outcome of the petition and would match the NDC boot for boot at the polling station level, come December 2016.

“We have learnt our lessons, and we are not going to repeat the mistakes made in 2012, we are inspired by the conviction that elections are won at the polling station, and that is exactly what we are going to do in 2016,” he stated.

Nana Addo said there was no doubt that President Mahama and the NDC government had totally failed to give Ghanaians the much touted Better Ghana Agenda promised, stressing that all that the NDC administration has left Ghanaians is poverty, collapsed economy, unemployment, collapse of local industries and escalating increase in prices of goods and services.

“So we ask President Mahama: Is this the Better Ghana they promised us in 2008 and 2012? Where has it gone, why are Ghanaians suffering so much when they pledged to make things better for us; we don’t need anyone to tell us that President Mahama and the NDC have failed totally,” Nana Addo noted.

The NPP presidential hopeful said Ghana was now neck-deep in corruption, nepotism and sheer opulence by the leadership, whilst the people continue to wallow in misery and hardships.

Nana Addo said he and the NPP can put together strong and competent human resources that would bring a first-class government to Ghanaians and salvage them from the economic quagmire.

According to him, people with practical intellect abound in the NPP and have the key to unlock Ghana’s economic potentials in order to bring hope and prosperity to the people of the country.

He said the aim of the NPP was to build a strong economy and create an opportunity so that everyone can have access to quality education and develop his or her potential in a free society, adding that he still stands by his policy of providing free and quality senior high school education when elected to lead the country.

Nana Addo further decried the tribal political propaganda by the opposition NDC to tag the NPP as Akan-Akyem, describing it as an attempt by the ruling party to incite one tribe against the other.

Alluding to the 2012 Presidential Campaign during which President Mahama told northerners to vote for him because he was one of them, Nana Addo said it was hypocritical for the NDC to turn round and accuse the NPP of engaging in tribal politics.

The NPP former presidential candidate further indicated that what was even more worrying to him is that the NDC are engaging in this tribal propaganda in the face of the economic hardships, as if the consequences of these hardships were limited to only a certain part of the tribal divide.

“Now that prices of goods are increasing day in and day out, is it affecting only Asantes or Akyems, is it affecting only Gas, Ewes, Dagombas or Bonos, we are suffering and that is what we must consider,” he emphasized.