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Politics of Friday, 21 October 2011

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Speech Made By Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom

Speech Made By Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ENTER THE CONTEST TO BECOME THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE CONVENTION PEOPLE’S PARTY (CPP) FOR THE 2012 ELECTIONS

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for honouring my invitation to participate in this important event in the political history of our dear country, Ghana.

First, I wish to pay homage to my elders, those who in the 4th Republic have kept the flame of the CPP alive. It is important that we recognise the efforts made by people such as General E. A. Erskine (rtd), Nana Okutwer Bekoe, Hon. Kojo Botsio, Hajia Adisa Munkaila, Hajia Salifu Dagarti, Mr. Mike Eghan, Prof. Mawuse Dake, Mrs. Ametor-Williams, Hon. K. S. P. Jantuah, Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama, Hon. Riley Poku, Hon. Felix Amoah, Mr. Donkor Ayifli and all our past Chairmen, Alhaji Farl, Alhaji Asuma Banda, Professor Abubakar Alhassan, Dr. Edmund Delle and Ladi Nylander who have all made some sacrifices to get us to be where we are today. Without them and others, there would be no CPP today. I want to pay a special tribute to the late President Hilla Limann who together with Comrade Botsio signed what was considered to be an irrevocable pact to merge all the Nkrumaist political parties in the late 1990s.

As I look around this morning and I am happy and greatly encouraged. The future for the new CPP is very bright! I can see people from all the ten regions and 230 constituencies represented here today. To all of you, I say a big thank you for sacrificing your time to be here with me. A very, very special thanks goes to my life partner, Yvonne and the rest of my family. Without them, this ordinary boy from Elmina will not be standing in front of you today.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Before we get to the simple question of whether I am running to become the President of the Republic or not, we must address the fundamental issue at the heart of any political campaign. Can we win and bring the development and progress Ghanaians have hoped for since our independence from the colonial powers?

Can this CPP man win the 2012 election and become the President of the Republic of Ghana? Yes I can. Can the voters make me the President knowing that we currently have one seat in Parliament? Yes they can. In Ghana, we run an executive form of government where one person is given the authority to form a government using the best men and women he or she can find inside and outside parliament. We do not run a parliamentary one where a party needs a majority in the Legislature to form government. What our experience in the 4th Republic has taught us is that we need a President who is by practical experience best suited for the job and who has demonstrated in his private life and in public service the ability to deliver positive results. I believe I am the person most suited for the position of President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013.

There are many good reasons why Ghanaians should support me in 2012. If you are looking forward to better days on pension because of the new pension scheme signed into law in 2009, you have this CPP man to thank for it. If you believe that the National Identification System will bring positive benefits to Ghanaians, you have this CPP man to thank for it. Soon, there will be two brand new ferries on the Volta Lake due to the Millennium Challenge Account. Who made that happen? This CPP man. When the police officers, teachers and medical doctors are eager to receive Single Spine Salary, who made that happen? This CPP man. When the brand new six - lane Tetteh Quarshie to Mallam Road is opened, who would have made that happen? This CPP man, Papa Kwesi Nduom, Edwumawura! If one CPP man can bring very many good ideas for millions of Ghanaians to benefit from, imagine what could happen if the entire government was put in the hands of the new CPP?

Despite all of this hard evidence that this CPP man can deliver results for the Ghanaian people, I have taken the time to approach this decision pragmatically and incrementally. On the 13th of June 2011, I commissioned a group of young men and women to undertake research on the viability of my becoming the Convention People’s Party’s candidate for the important position of President of the Republic of Ghana. I tasked the team to:

1. Determine whether or not Ghanaians believe that I Papa Kwesi Nduom can be a better President of Ghana than others who are likely to contest the 2012 presidential election. 2. Find out reasons why I lost the 2008 Presidential elections so badly. 3. Determine if I should contest the 2012 Presidential elections. 4. Find out what should be done to ensure victory in the 2012 general elections should I decide to contest.

I wish to express my profound appreciation to all of the members of the Exploratory Team for the several weeks of active interaction with people on the ground in all ten regions. I appreciate the more than 52,000 people who have found it useful to interact with me on Facebook. I am grateful to the immediate past National Executives led by Mr. Ladi Nylander who created and the Re-Organisation strategy put in place to breathe life into the Party. Their strategy has made it necessary for me to have hope that the 2008 elections nightmare can be put behind us and become a learning experience for the CPP. I appreciate the commitment of the new National Executives of the Party led by Ms Samia Nkrumah to unite and strengthen the CPP. More important, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the thousands of CPP grassroots supporters and members who have bombarded me with calls and concerns over the long decision-making process I have used to get to this point. An important conclusion reached as a result of the Exploratory Team’s research is the fact that the majority of Ghanaians are ready to vote for an alternative to the NDC and NPP. The Team reported that opportunity exists for the CPP led by me to become the alternative. The Exploratory Team recommended that I persist in the quest to become President of the Republic of Ghana in the 2012 and future elections as the country’s constitution allows it.

One key factor that I have had to consider has been the need to overhaul the CPP vehicle and make it attractive to Ghanaians. Related to that is the ability of the CPP to unite behind its Presidential Candidate. To quote the Exploratory Team directly, “...there is the need to ensure the opening of offices of the party in all constituencies immediately. We recommend a robust and effective communication or education on CPP policies to the people of Ghana; strengthening of the polling station organisation; and infusion of the youth into the leadership positions in the party at all levels. There is the urgent need for congress to be held very soon so that all grievances that come with internal competition can be resolved to pave way for stronger competition in the 2012 elections. There is also the need for the Members and Leadership of the CPP to be supportive of the Party’s Parliamentary and Presidential Campaigns”. I have accepted these as necessary prerequisites for electioneering success and have pledged to work with the leadership of the CPP to make implement these recommendations. I have started to work with the elected Party executives at all levels to publicly open sixty (60) constituency offices sponsored by me and spread throughout the country. I have pledged to support the parliamentary campaigns in fifty (50) constituencies selected by the Central Committee of the Party.

Consequently, I Papa Kwesi Nduom am here this morning to announce the launch of my campaign to become President of the Republic of Ghana. Let me make it clear here and now what I am doing today as far as the CPP is concerned. It is only Congress that can determine who becomes the Presidential Candidate of the Party. This is a declaration of intent to enter the contest the second the nominations bell rings. I love competition. I am ready for it.

This will be the continuation of the journey we started in 2008. This journey must end in the Flagstaff House. That, my friends, is our destination. In 2008, we were given great reception throughout the country. I have great memories I will forever cherish of traditional authorities and people from all walks of life encouraging us to do our best to convince them to vote for the CPP. I remember that from Pusiga to Prestea, from Wa through Walewale to Wiawso; from Tuobodom to Takoradi; from Enchi through Ejura to Elmina; Dunkwa to Damango to Dzelokope; from Obom Domeabra to Obuasi you told us that Ghana needed change. You told us that it was our responsibility to give the people positive reasons to vote for the change the CPP was offering.

We had a great message of change you can feel in your pocket to give hope and dignity to the Ghanaian in his or her own country. There was an enthusiastic army of young men and women who believed that Ghana deserved better. We experienced the hopes and dreams of ordinary men and women who walked and used their sweat to support our campaign. We could not give many the T shirts they wanted to wear to identify with us, and money they asked for because they truly needed it and yet they came out to work and cheer our efforts.

In 2008, we promised that together, we would build a great country. We promised that together, we would unite our people. Together, we would run an inclusive government and do something different – bring inclusiveness into Ghanaian society so that the best people get the right jobs and contracts. We promised that a CPP administration led by me would be open, transparent and will attack corruption and indiscipline with a sense of urgency so that we could build a just and caring society that is prosperous. I still stand by these promises.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Before 2007, not too many people would have considered the CPP to be one of the leading contenders in the race for the Flagstaff House. But during the 2008 campaign, the Party was given serious attention and recognition. With a great message, perseverance, consistency and a peaceful, purposeful campaign, we were considered a force to reckon with. In many cases, we were considered a rising third force. The results of the election told us that we need to put in place a robust organization to ensure that we get the votes we need to win many parliamentary seats and the presidency. My promise this morning is that we will do just that – put in place a robust organization to ensure that we get the votes needed to win the 2012 elections.

It is essential that everyone understand that the CPP will show its strength not only at the Presidential level but also at the Parliamentary level in constituencies all over the country. Strong candidates have already begun to prepare themselves for victory in all ten regions. There are numerous constituencies that even the most partisan members of the NDC and NPP admit are at risk. Those MPs who have failed their constituents know who they are and should be preparing to engage in the most challenging political contests of their careers.

It is important to understand that during the past three years the CPP has engaged in a period of self-reflection and intense debates that has resulted in a party that will be able to quickly and efficiently deal with indiscipline when it occurs. The CPP will communicate with its members and with the public in new and innovative ways. The drive for change will be stronger than it has ever been.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Who is Papa Kwesi Nduom? I am an ordinary boy born in Elmina, a proud leading fishing and historical town in the Central Region whose father and mother were both teachers. I was not born into privilege. There were no silver spoons around for me to put into my mouth. It is through hard work, formal education and determination that today I can stand in front of you to speak about what motivated me to seek the mandate of the people to become President of our Republic. I offer my story as an example to millions of Ghanaian children who desire a better life than the one they were born into. I live by family values and I am married with four adult children who by their own hard work are shaping their own personal destinies. My family has been able to use its enterprise to create more than 2,000 jobs for Ghanaians in all the ten regions of the country. I am human. So sometimes I make mistakes. I grieve over my mistakes and given the opportunity, I work hard to correct them. I am a Christian, a Roman Catholic who believes in and practices his faith. But I am also tolerant of the beliefs of others.

In politics, I desire inclusiveness and using the best people in the country to accelerate our development and make our people prosperous. I believe in working with a sense of urgency to solve the problems we have today, and not leave them for tomorrow. I also believe that a lot can be done for our country, if we do not care who takes credit.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I believe that a new CPP – with a great attitude and state of mind is on the horizon. What does the CPP that I hope to lead in the 2012 elections stand for?

The CPP’s vision for Ghana in one generation is to be a high income country, in a society that is just, safe, caring, united and prosperous. To achieve this will require SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION. This means transforming our country to become a society that is patriotic, disciplined, self reliant and pursues excellence as a national character, a society that is fair for all and where democratic and economic governance is devolved to the local level. As an integral part, the CPP will actively seek the political and economic unity of Africa to establish the continent’s position in global affairs. We stand differently from the other political parties. Ours is the only political party that believes that the unity of African States will provide a better market, more opportunities and prosperity for our people at home.

Our single-minded purpose is to use innovations in science and technology to revolutionize our way of life, create employment and significantly improve the standard of living of all of our people. This means that education infrastructure and curriculum from kindergarten to the tertiary level will be designed to provide the science and technology foundation needed by every boy and girl in our society to function effectively in the modern world. This means that the public service will be given all the modern technology tools to function efficiently to support the public and private sectors adequately. It means that the CPP will provide the funds to implement advanced technology solutions at our ports and harbours and in our revenue collection agencies to prevent fraud, corrupt practices and enhance government revenue.

This also means that our research institutions such as CSIR and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research will be highly resourced to deliver practical solutions to the market and in collaboration with the private sector. Finally, it means that the CPP Administration that comes to power in January 2013 will re-engineer the budget to provide financial and technical support to Ghanaian industries so that a petro-chemicals industry can rapidly thrive and develop in addition to modern machine shops and factories that rely on aluminium and other locally-available natural resources and agricultural raw materials. For the avoidance of doubt, we are radically aiming to bring the economy back home in a manner that will be felt in Ghanaian pockets.

Another differentiating element in how the CPP will manage the Ghanaian economy is the matter of accountability and implementation. Chapter Six of the 1992 Constitution: The Directive Principles of State Policy together represent our collective broad national agenda for what the Constitution says is the “...establishment of a just and free society.” A CPP Administration will live by these broad principles and the Constitution’s requirement for monitoring and evaluation, so that our nation can experience significant growth and development. Article 34 (2) directs that:

“The President shall report to Parliament at least once a year all the steps taken to ensure the realisation of the policy objectives contained in this Chapter; and, in particular, the realisation of basic human rights, a healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good health care and the right to education.”

I will live by these principles and ensure accountability. No other political party in this country has embedded these principles in its policies and programmes. The CPP once again, will be a pioneer in bringing something new, different and positive to our people.

Today, the world has changed. The fortunes of many nations in Europe, the Americas and Asia have changed significantly. Unfortunately, our problems remain largely the same as they were forty years ago. Consequently, the goal of the CPP has not been fulfilled. Ghana remains pre-industrial, raw material export-based and dependent on development assistance. We have an economy that is over-reliant on the importation of most of what we use, eat and wear. Our budget including major initiatives such as our national census, school feeding programme and even our elections are dependent on funding from international development agencies. Whatever middle class we have are mostly agents of foreign enterprises, importers and traders of imported goods. Our problems have remained largely the same because those who have had the opportunity to administer the affairs of Ghana in recent years, have not shared our belief in the CPP core values and hence have been incapable of implementing them.

As Ghanaians remain in need of the basics of life, our goal as a Party remains as follows:

“…to establish in Ghana a strong and progressive society in which no one will have any anxiety about the basic means of life, about work, food and shelter; where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and disease is brought under control; and where our educational facilities provide all the children with the best possibilities for the development of their potentialities.”

This goal inspired the CPP Cabinet in the First Republic to work with a sense of urgency. It still provides us with enough motivation to move our country through a path that is very different from that which the NDC and the NPP have offered so far in the Fourth Republic. Advances in science and technology bring in their wake new abilities to bridge geographical and developmental gaps. What the CPP will do is use these advances to bring about social transformation, fairness, justice and increased prosperity for all our people.

I am in full agreement with the CPP’s objective to “bring the economy back home”. This unique signature has been captured in the official manifestos of the Party since 2004. The objective is consistent with the Party’s principle of self determination. It means that the CPP’s economic policy will be felt and as a result, known in every village, town and municipality in all corners of our country. Our economic objective is different from what has been offered by the NDC 1 & 2 and NPP 1 Administrations. In practical terms it means that the CPP will take an aggressive posture to wean the economy away from the IMF, the World Bank and other international finance institutions. It means that the CPP will not mortgage the future of our children and our natural resources to our detriment and the benefit of other nations.

It means that the CPP will not sell the Agricultural Development Bank or the Ghana Railways Company but will rather develop and modernize them to serve the national interest. It means that we will bring back to life the Jute factory to provide the essential sacks to carry the cocoa we produce not only to factories abroad but to our own indigenous value-adding processing plants at home. It means that we will re-design agreements for the exploration of natural resources such as gold, diamond, bauxite and oil and gas to ensure that Ghanaian entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and workers become the main players and the people of Ghana the main beneficiaries. It means that we will achieve this by changing the laws that govern our extractive industries to allow Ghanaians full participation through financial and technical support to local companies. It also means that we will use the right of the state to tax to discourage unbridled importation of everything under the earth and use the revenues to promote the development of our own enterprises.

The CPP believes that the State matters and that the State has an important role to play in the economy. We believe that it is the job of government to prepare its people and give them the necessary opportunities to overcome inexperience and inadequate capital. This is what the CPP will do.

Quite often reference is made to the progress made by some of the countries who were at par or behind Ghana in terms of per capita income at the time of our independence on 6th March 1957. Specific reference is made to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea in suggesting that comparatively, Ghana has not lived up to expectations. Many of the analysts or commentators fail to appreciate the positive role played by the State in Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia to directly assist their private sectors to grow and prosper. It must be stated that when these countries were off and running in the 1970s and 1980s, Ghana was labouring under the weight of military intervention. Too often, the NDC and the NPP people repeat “…the private sector is the engine of growth” and leave the domestic private sector alone to fend for itself. The CPP will not make this same mistake.

What the CPP will do is inject a heavy dose of the state’s participation to support domestic industries and job creation. We will act with a sense of urgency to “stimulate” the development and growth of domestic industries, the type that creates well-paying jobs that will put real money in the pockets of Ghanaian men and women.

A CPP Administration under my leadership will mandate the use of the purchasing power of the State to ensure that we maximize the potential of local industries in all areas – agriculture, technology, consumer goods etc. We have people with direct experience in job creation and industrial development in Ghana and abroad. We are prepared to use appropriately the private sector, cooperatives, joint ventures with foreign investors and strategic state participation to bring “Work and Happiness” to our people at home. The CPP will lead in a way that will make this crusade national and enable it to gain a solid foundation. We will work diligently to find ways to enable local producers to find their feet in the market, to walk and then run. Where the private sector is unable or unwilling to supply capital in an area of strategic importance to our nation, public funds will be provided to finance new industries independently or in partnership with the private sector. I will lead into government a truly radical party that puts the Ghanaian in front of everything that happens in this country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are ten agenda items that I want the opportunity to implement as President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013:

1. Create a just and disciplined society. Create a just and disciplined society with a passion for excellence within ten years and with science and technology as the cornerstone, become a higher level middle income country. 2. Improve the Performance of Government. Reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general. 3. Give Power to the People for Development. Sponsor changing the Constitution to enable the election of all District Assembly Members and District/Municipal/Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure local accountability and rapid development. This we will do in one term of office. 4. Strengthen Parliament to perform its legislative duties effectively. Sponsor changing the Constitution to abolish the provision that allows Ministers of State to also serve as Members of Parliament. We believe that this move will make available for governance a large pool of qualified, experienced Ghanaian talent whose expertise is currently unused and therefore lost to Ghana. This we will aim to complete in one term of office. Concurrent with this objective will be a solid determination to give Parliament the facilities and resources needed to pass good laws and scrutinize the proposals submitted by the Executive effectively. 5. Provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child. Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure free and compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including computer training). An integral part of this objective will be an objective will be to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills. 6. Provide Energy for Industrialisation and Rapid Development. Implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and domestic use and make Ghana a net exporter of power again in four years. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. We aim to ensure that the contribution from alternative sources of energy reaches a minimum of 10% of what we need in a decade. 7. Provide Better Health Care and Cleaner Environment. Ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera and guinea worm. Provide affordable and accessible health care for all in every region. Ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key. 8. Attack Crime, the Drug Trade and Corruption. Attack crime, the drug trade and corruption aggressively using leadership by example, being modest in government, passing and implementing the Right to Information Bill and ensuring an independent prosecutor’s office exists separate from the Ministry of Justice. Strengthen the Narcotics Control Board to make it the agency responsible for fighting the drug trade with all the human, financial and other resources needed for success. Strengthen the Police Force by providing resources and training to fight crime. 9. Create a Homecoming Secretariat. Establish a Secretariat to cater for the needs of Ghanaians Abroad and the African Diaspora by June 30th 2013. Provide a support system to encourage re-entry, investment, safe and healthy vacations and transfer of knowledge and technology. 10. Create Jobs. Use government’s purchasing power to ensure that we eat what we grow and use what we produce in Ghana. Improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market. To accelerate job creation nationally, an inter-region highway will be built with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Should the people of Ghana vote for me to become President, I pledge to do what no President in the 4th Republic has been able to do – complete the projects initiated by my predecessors before starting new ones; utilize loans contracted by my predecessors or cancel them before considering new ones; and report to Parliament every year progress towards implementing the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in our Constitution.

Indeed, there is a great future waiting for all Ghanaians under President Papa Kwesi Nduom, Edwumawura.

Finally, I wish to thank all media houses represented here and in particular those of you who have chosen to carry our message live, directly to Ghanaians throughout the country. We need you. Together, we will make democracy work for the benefit of our great country Ghana. God bless our Homeland Ghana. Let us work hard to make our people proud and prosperous here at home.

Thank you for your kind attention.

There is victory for us!

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