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Politics of Friday, 20 November 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Okoe Vanderpuije upbeat about chances

The aspiring parliamentary candidate for the Ablekuma South Constituency, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, has said his decision to become a parliamentarian is to afford him the opportunity to extend to a national platform his ideas and experiences that have changed the face of Accra within the last seven years.

According to him, his current position as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) only limited his plans for national development at the district level when he could do it at a national level.

“In Parliament we do national laws and at this stage of the country’s development, when we make a bye-law at the assemblies it becomes the responsibility of the assembly to enforce it but when we do it at the national level everyone is bound by it because we will have implementing agencies such as the police and not the AMA task force,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra.

Mr Vanderpuije is contesting the NDC primaries on November 21, 2015.

He is facing competition from Mr Wisdom Nii Amoo Dodoo, a businessman and a grass-roots member of the party, who is contesting for the third time for the parliamentary slot on the same ticket.

However, the incumbent MP for the constituency, Mr Fredric Fritz Baffour, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Interior, is not contesting.

Mr Vanderpuije also debunked claims that he only decided to bring development to the constituency when he took the decision to represent the area in Parliament.

He said during his tenure as the Chief Executive of the AMA, he had spread development in all the constituencies under his jurisdiction and Ablekuma South is one of them.

“Whatever project that is going on in Ablekuma South was not started yesterday. Since I became the mayor, I have been actively involved in projects and Ablekuma South is one of the beneficiaries.

“I am the one who extended the Guggisberg Road through Korle-Bu then Mamprobi all the way to Dansoman. If you go to the beach side roads, I am the one who constructed, developed and extended them through places like Mamponse into Dansoman among other projects in the area so I don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.

Concerning the promises he made to the constituents and how he would be able to achieve them, Mr Vanderpuije said his rich experience as the Mayor of Accra had brought him both local and international business partners whom he would use to bring development to the constituency.

“The rich experience that I have gained in the execution of my duties as Accra Mayor will give me the support that I need to be an effective representative of Ablekuma South in Parliament and also advocate a strong share of the national cake to the constituency,” he added.

Additionally, he said he would mobilise resources and build the capacity of the people in the constituency to bring about change and total development in the area, “and that is the promise I have made to the people that they should keep the hope alive and believe in my leadership”.

On whether it has been difficult for him to contest in the primary to represent the people of Ablekuma South in Parliament, Mr Vanderpuije replied, “Well for me as Okoe Vanderpuije, nothing is difficult. If I put my hands, my head and my heart to it, I believe that I have a gift of mastering all things that I commit myself to doing.”