Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and an aspiring flagbearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has said even the former president, Flt. Lt Jerry John Rawlings, would endorse him as the president of the nation if he received the nod as flagbearer of the NPP.
"Mr Rawlings is discerning enough and I believe if I am elected the flagbearer of NPP, he would vote for me because he knows with me as the president, Ghana would be a better place for him and his family as well as all Ghanaians."
According to Prof Frimpong-Boateng, his high sense of commitment, dedication and nationalism would convince the founder of the largest opposition party, to vote for him.
Speaking to Daily Guide after a three-day tour of the Upper East Region to campaign for his bid to lead NPP to the 2008 elections, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said he was the only compromise candidate who could deliver all the floating votes as well as a chunk of the opposition votes, to ensure an overwhelming victory for the party.
According to him, if he became the president of Ghana, he would first set up a presidential office annex at Tamale where the president would spend a few weeks every quarter, to help spearhead the development of the three northern regions because of the immense economic potential of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions
. "I have a unique vision for the country, especially for the north, to build on the foundation President Kufuor has made and turn the fortunes of the country around," he said.
He disclosed that he was working on an economic blueprint for the north, some parts of the Brong Ahafo Region, the Western and Volta regions, to bring complete transformation to those areas within four years of his presidency.
"My whole personality stands for hard work and success, and with my experience, technological know-how and commitment, I will inspire higher level of positive change when I get the nod."
According to him, all the aspirants in the NPP race were qualified to stand but when it came to who the party would be comfortable with, who the nation would love and who God would endorse, then he was the one.
"The name Frimpong-Boateng will generate a new slogan for the fight ahead of the NPP, give hope to the youth and encouragement to the elderly," he pointed out.
On the qualities expected of the new leader, he stressed that the publics criteria for the next leader would be to see a personality that represented high morality, so the choice of the delegates at the congress would be the defining moment for the party if it wanted to win the general elections in 2008.
When Prof Frimpong-Boateng was asked what he thought about the controversial survey carried out by the editor of Daily Dispatch, Mr Ben Ephson, on the leading contenders of the ruling party, which placed the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs as front runners for the race, distancing him to as far as the fifth, he said he was very comfortable and had no problem with it.
These opinion polls do not bother me because I know I am very strong on the ground and I am still working hard to emerge the flagbearer of the party come next year, he said confidently. On how he was combining his work as the chief executive of the largest teaching hospital in Ghana and politics, he said he had an accumulated leave, so anytime he felt like going round to campaign, he asked permission to take some days out of that leave to do politics, so it was wrong for people to accuse him of abandoning his work for politics.
According to him, he had everything planned carefully.
When asked whether he had the endurance and character to enter the "rough" terrain of politics, this was Prof Frimpong-Boateng's reply: "Politics is not dirty as we see it. It is the way we have made it look, like using it as a platform for character assassination, corruption and divisiveness.
That is why we in Africa are not progressing. We need good people to enter politics and clean it because politics is all about development and provision of basic needs for the people."