Happy Birthday NPP!
Speech by Harona Esseku - National Chairman,
The New Patriotic Party was formed in 1992. It received its certificate of recognition as a Political Party on July 28 of that year. The Party is in its tenth (10') year this month and this calls for celebration and that is what we are doing within the next several days. We are celebrating at the National level, in the Regions and within the Constituencies. Our Party is committed to a philosophy, which was first articulated by Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah. It is this philosophy, which guided the Progress Party and continues to guide all Parties of the Danquah?Busia Tradition. It is reasserted in our Manifesto as the avowal of individual freedom in a liberal democratic state where the development of the individual and of society in a free political atmosphere, under the rule of law, is the principles of the state. Free enterprise, - fundamental human rights and a vigorous pursuit of private initiative are its abiding principles. We must be proud that our philosophy has been vindicated worldwide today. Now let us recall here a brief history of our tradition. In 1969 the Progress Party became the first Party to win political power for us. Unfortunately, its rule lasted for only twenty-seven (27) months. Its record of achievement, however, stands as a monument for –us today. The beliefs of the tradition inspired the PP Government and informed all its policies and programmes. The infamous Kutu Acheampong's coup d`etate of 1972 brought the regime to an abrupt end. In 1979 we had to change our name because by a military decree we were not allowed to resume the use of our old name, the PP that had been banned after the coup d’etat of 1972. It is because of a similar military decree that we are now called the NPP. But the spirit of the Progress party still animates us. The election of 1979 was won by the PNP which had also been compelled by a military decree to abandon their name CPP. On December 31, 1981, the new constitutional era was brutally swept away by a so?called revolution, which brought Rawlings to power. He and his henchmen established a regime, which dominated the country for eleven (11) years. The aim of this revolution was to kill all political parties by banning not only the existing Parties but also all political activity. We of the NPP tradition refused to die. We did not even go to sleep. We simply bided our time, ready to spring into action at the opportune time, which came in 1992. Our determination to win back power in 1992 was frustrated by the shameless rigging of the Presidential elections. How this was done, is eloquently exposed in the `STOLEN VERDICT`. We again contested and lost the 1996 elections. Our opponents after our two (2) electoral defeats persuaded themselves that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could never win an election. We who had faith in ourselves and a firm commitment to our principles and traditions did not share this negative view. On the contrary, we went into the election of December 2000 determined to overcome all obstacles and to win. We did. We are now in power. Our Party has reached the tenth (1Oth) year mark. If we look back to 1982 on to 1992 and see where we are now, we have every cause to be thankful to the Almightily and feel proud that we have come4 this far and not only come this far but have been entrusted or ( with the reins of Government by the good people of Ghana. Where do we go from here? We believe that we have a great responsibility to bring peace. stability and prosperity to our dear Nation. We must all be aware of the great difficulties in the way of achieving this laudable and great objective. Our Government has inherited a bankrupt Nation and a multitude of problems at all levels of national life, the task ahead is to repair what has been damaged, rebuild and restore what cannot be repaired and build afresh. In these eighteen (18) months that the Government has been in power, let us look at what has been don~ to carry out this task. Examples are attached as Appendixes Today I do not think that I would be exaggerating when I say we are the most cohesive and well focused Political Party in this country. For us to continue as such we must all unite, we must see the success of our Party as our individual successes. We should not allow temporary disappointments to put us in a frame of pessimism. It is not possible to satisfy all at the same time but I assure you that the Party as an institution, the President, and the Government are fully mindful of these difficulties and needs of the people of Ghana at all levels and we shall not relent in our efforts to find ways of satisfying them within available resources. For the moment let us treat this occasion as a festival, a festival to do honor to those who have been steadfast in the fight for freedom and justice for the people both living and dead, It is an occasion to pay tribute to all of us who have contributed, each according to his or her means to keep us alive this day. It is now for us to rejoice and praise our ancestors and founding fathers and above all the Almighty God. May God in his infinite kindness and love for mankind see us through yet another decade. FEW ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE NPP GOVERNMENT AFTER 11/2YEARS IN OFFICE Cash and Carry: 42 Districts in the country are being helped by government to establish "Mutual Health Organisations" which is Health Care Insurance to replace Cash and Carry.
60 Health Centres have been refurbished One school in each District is being upgraded to become a model school to the standard of Mfantsipim and Achimota Schools.
900 Junior Secondary Schools throughout Ghana are being refurbished. Work is in progress at all centres.
ll monies realised from 21/2VAT for the Ghana Education Trust Fund have already been paid into the fund and are being utilised for projects.
Inflation has dipped from 40.9% in January 2001 to 25% by end of 2001 and, 19.9% in January 2002. There has been a decline of money market rates with interest rates for 91-day treasury bills declining from 41.9% in January 2001 to 23.3% in February 2002. The cedi stabilized with a 3% decline compared to the annual depreciation of 91.5% in 2000~ A more disciplined approach was made to borrowing by government.
Major strides have been made in agriculture the most remarkable of which is the introduction on the Ghana market of Ghana Rice, which is superior in quality, in terms of taste and nutrition, than any imported variety.
One of the biggest achievements of this government has been the refreshing air of freedom it has engendered in the country. The suits by government against journalists, and repealing the Criminal Libel Law has led to an expansion of the scope of press freedom especially, and individuals freedoms as a whole.
Another remarkable feat has been the re-definition and re-prioritising of national values and events with the view to fostering national unity and focus.