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21.03.2007 General News

Akufo Addo changes gear

By myjoyonline

DESPITE EVIDENCE that he is among the top candidates tipped to carry the day, Nana Akufo Addo is set to up his campaign in his bid to capture the flagbearership of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the party's congress slated for December this year.

In response to mountain challenges ahead of the congress, Nana Addo has therefore dissolved the Friends of Nana Addo (FONA) team and chose to replace it with a new campaign group known as the Committee 1500.

The new Committee would focus on the difficulties ahead of Akufo Addo's present campaign and is the result of the ambition to secure at least 1500 votes for the Nana Addo ticket during the impending delegates' congress to ensure a first round comfortable victory for him.

Confirming this in an interview with this paper, the spokesperson for the defunct FONA, Mr. Mustapha Hamid, in an interview with Gye Nyame Concord said FONA has now been transformed into Committee Fifteen Hundred, because the purpose for which it was set up has been achieved and it is time for the team to focus on winning the party's congress coming December.

He explained that FONA was set up to mainly do some preparatory work, including underground canvassing and lobbying and also generally prepare the grounds for Nana Addo to launch his bid for the candidacy of the NPP, hence the public declaration by Nana Addo to context on the party's ticket meant the objective of FONA have been achieved.

Mr. Hamid stated that with FONA, Nana Addo toured seven out of the 10 regions in the country and visited about 141 constituencies. In all, Nana Addo's message to them has always been consistent, which is expression of his interest in running for the party.

“His message is that he thinks that we should elect somebody who is a full blown NPP member who has been part of the construction of the party.” Mr. Hamid echoed.

He said Nana believes that it is only somebody who has been part of the party's beginning, the history and the construction that can tell where the party is coming from in order to chart a vision for the party's future.

“After all, Bob Marley said for you to know where you're going, you should know where you're coming from, okay. And he believes that he's such a person.”

Mr. Hamid noted that, the message about party delegates voting or choosing somebody who has been part or somebody who can mobilize people behind the NPP project of development in freedom places Nana Addo ahead of his compatriots since he has considerable experience in mass mobilization from his days in the Peoples Movement for Freedom and Justice which campaigned vigorously against Acheampong's UNIGOV ideas through other military regimes to the PNDC/ NDC.

“We need Ghanaians to be able to understand the NPP government development in freedom and to rally behind that project, so we need somebody who is a great mobiliser who can rally the millions of Ghanaians behind that project; he was part of the very foundation and the building of this party”. Mr. Hamid stressed.

He described Nana Addo as a team player whose has been in the struggle for democracy with all spheres of political opinions such as people in the CPP.

He pointed out that the NPP is looking for somebody with considerable vision and political acumen to be able to carry Ghana to the next level of its development after the successful tenure of President Kufuor.

“We see that we need someone who is a winner, a winnable candidate: We're not just looking for a flagbearer for the NPP but we're looking for somebody who can win in the national elections …and we believe that he is about the most popular person aside the President in our party, within the Ghanaian population, in which case it will be easy for us to market him if we choose him for our presidential candidate. So he's been going round the country with these messages and having done that, it means that it's no more a secret that he's in the race and therefore FONA becomes irrelevant. For now, there is a full-fledged Committee in place called Committee Fifteen Hundred”, Hamid said.

He stressed that Committee Fifteen Hundred is concentrating on their four core messages and do not care about the existence or the non-existence of other people in the race and said that non of the other presidential aspirants is a threat to Nana Addo.