The 1st Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, at the weekend claimed that the nation's Presidency has been cheapened under the NPP administration, citing the plethora of presidential hopefuls in the ruling party as the basis of his claim.
He particularly wondered why the former Press Secretary to the President, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, could also dream of becoming the President of the nation. "This doesn't happen in any part of the world; that the spokesman of the President would want to become the President," he stated.
According to Mr. Afriyie Ankrah, it is never a sign of internal democracy to have such a large number of people seeking to run for the Presidency on the ticket of a single party. "It's not normal; it's rather ridiculous!" he remarked.
Addressing a forum, organised by the University of Cape Coast, branch of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network of the NDC, he claimed that the aspiration of many of the NPP Presidential hopefuls, had been motivated by their desire to create the opportunity to enrich themselves and their families.
"What do they mean? But it's because they see the man there … the man is travelling, getting per diem, his children are buying hotels and other things… so as far as they are concerned they can also do it. It is an opportunity for them and their brothers, sisters and cousins to become rich," he added.
Making a comparative analysis of the pedigree of his party's Presidential hopefuls and that of the NPP, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah, was optimistic that none of the men in the NPP could match whoever is elected the Presidential candidate of the NDC.
"As for the NPP candidates when you look at them, the 11-member team with reserves, who among them can match any of our candidates? If you take anyone of them, they cannot match any of our candidates," he stated.
On preparations for the 2008 elections, the NDC Deputy General Secretary urged the party activists to gird their loins and be prepared to employ militant measures in dealing with the NPP, stressing that the NPP is not the kind of party that can be dealt with using diplomatic measures. "We are for peace, not violence; but we won't sit down for them to massacre us, and let me assure you that in 2008… we will do things peacefully, but if anybody tries to intimidate us then we'll all live to see," he added.
Mr. Afriyie Ankrah, assured the activists of the party that the National Executive would do everything possible to ensure victory for the party, and urged them to rededicate themselves to the cause of the party to help secure a resounding victory in 2008.
The 2004 NDC defeated parliamentary candidate for the Cape Coast constituency, Barton Oduro, urged the TEIN members in the University of Cape Coast, to consider transferring their votes from their respective constituencies to Cape Coast to enable the party annex the seat in 2008.
He observed that the NDC had always lost the Cape Coast seat because it performed poorly in the University community. Mr Oduro urged the students to always keep themselves abreast of the noble achievements of the (P)NDC regime so that they could be in a good position to educate the masses about what their political tradition stands for.
The President of TEIN, UCC branch, Amos Awenzo, accused the NPP government of inflicting "economic torture" on the masses, and called on all NDC faithful to work harder to win the 2008 elections, "to salvage the people from the torture."