The Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, has announced his bid to vie for the presidential candidate slot of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
At the inauguration of Society for National Affairs (SONA), a youth think tank at the University of Ghana, Legon, he said this year, he would stick to a three-prong message anywhere he had the opportunity to speak.
He named them as his ambition to become the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2008 elections, developing the tourism industry as the backbone of the nation's economy and ensuring that Ghanaians used the Golden Jubilee year to change their attitudes for the better.
He added that as an advertiser he believed in the principle that messages must be concise, comprehensible and repeated as much as possible, hence the decision to concentrate on the three messages.
SONA, which is purely an amalgamation of all groups of students on campus such as political, religious, ethnic and course-based associations, aims at inculcating in the students the spirit of unity, tolerance, putting the national interest above all else, discipline and hard work.
Other speakers were Mr Kwesi Jonah, a senior lecturer at the university; Prof. Nii Noi Dowuona, the General Secretary of the Convention People's Party (CPP); Baba Jamal, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); Mr Kweku Baako Jnr, the Editor-in-Chief of the Crusading Guide; and Mr Seth Ablozo, the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
Sounding biblical, Mr Obetsebi Lamptey dwelt much on the need for Ghanaians to change their attitudes that were not progressive, think positively and work hard and turn the fortunes of the nation around for the better.
He stated that during the Jubilee celebrations of the Israelites in the Bible, debts of people were forgiven while the occasion was used by the people to renew their minds and “go back where they really came from”.
He said it was incumbent on Ghanaians to use the jubilee year to resolve to be hardworking and in all
their endeavours to ensure that they refrained from anything that would thwart the progress of the country.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the forefathers of Ghana, through positive attitudes, were able to achieve greatness for themselves and the nation and gave the example of Tetteh Quarshie who brought cocoa beans from Fernando Po and planted them in Ghana.
He added that through the ingenuity of Ghanaian farmers, the two cocoa seeds that survived were multiplied to millions of trees bearing the most quality cocoa beans in the world, the proceeds of which were used to build the Akosombo Dam, the Tema township, secondary schools throughout the country and continue to be the backbone of the economy.
He said with positive minds, achieving success became easier because it always prevented fear and apprehension and engendered confidence, adding that with hard work, coupled with positive thoughts, success was achievable.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey cited the Big Six, as self-made men who through hard work and positive thinking, achieved greatness for themselves and the nation in general.
Born on February 4, 1946 in Accra, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey had his primary education in Accra from 1952 and later travelled to England to further his education.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey's work experience dates back to 1966, when he was a scriptwriter, commentator and television and radio presenter at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). In 1969, he joined Lintas West Africa, an advertising firm, as an account executive and radio and television producer.
When he was appointed the Client Service Manager of Lintas in Ghana in 1971, he wrote, co-ordinated and executed Family Planning Motivation Campaign for the Ghana National Family Planning Programme and in 1972, served as a resource person at a seminar on Family Planning at the University of Hawaii.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey was appointed the General Manager of Lintas, Ghana Limited in 1974 and thereafter worked on a number of programmes for the company and others in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Between 1984 and 1999, he also worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Futures-Group (SOMARC) on workshops, devising operational manuals and making key presentations in a number of countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Malawi, Holland, Cyprus and Cameroon.
During his term as Minister of Presidential Affairs, he was the Plenary Speaker at the World Summit on AIDS, London, and the Second International Symposium on the disease in Yaounde, Cameroon. He is a past president of the Advertising Association of Ghana.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey has several publications to his credit. These include “Using Commercial Resource in Family Planning Programmes: The international Experience" and “The Handbook for AIDS Prevention in Africa”.
He was the National Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2000 general election.
Story By Donald Ato Dapatem