The Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSI, Mr Alan Kyerematen has stated that his first objective for deciding to run for the presidential slot of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is to energise the party's structures at the grassroot.
He explained that for anybody to lead the party to the crucial victory in the 2008 general election, the person must first strengthen the party at the polling level where the foot soldiers were needed to spread the good news about the NPP administration and the achievements so far chalked up by the Kufuor administration.
Addressing party members at separate meetings in some constituencies in the Eastern Region, Mr Kyerematen said he would do all within his limited resources to provide some logistics to the party at the grassroot to enable the foot soldiers to tell the people why the NPP must be retained in office in the 2008 general election to continue with its development agenda for the country.
He visited Begoro in the Fanteakwa Constituency, Akyem Tafo in Abuakwa North, the New Juaben North and Koforidua constituencies, Suhum and Ayensuano constituencies and met party supporters.
Mr Kyerematen said the present campaign by some leading members of the party to become the flagbearer of the party was good for the development and growth of the party's structures.
He said as those who had decided to lead the party toured the countryside to market themselves, they helped to rekindle interest in the party as well as to explain the policies of the government to the party faithful.
Mr Kyerematen made the party faithful hopeful that the Kufuor government was on course to prepare the country for the process of attaining a middle-income status by 2015.
He discounted claims that he had presided over the collapse of the President's Special Initiatives (PSIs) saying that the reality on the ground was that despite the teething problems the programme was positively influencing the lives of the people.
Mr Kyerematen said the country was making great strides in all spheres of national endeavours which had won international acclaim and urged the party faithful not to allow detractors to discredit the NPP administration.
Mr Kyerematen said having been ruled by military juntas and other dictatorial regimes in the greater part of our independence history, the major part of the Fourth Republic had been used particularly by the Kufuor government to promote rule of law, respect for vicil liberties such as freedom of speech and respect for human rights.
He said now that respect for civil liberties had been firmly established, the country needed someone who would give economic independence to the people .
Mr Kyerematen said he had a long expereince in business and the affairs of the NPP adding that he was a founding member of the party in 1992, Chairman of the Young Executive Forum out of which Mr Peter Mac Manu had graduated to assume the highest position in the party as National Chairman and indicated that he was ready to assume the flagbearership of the party.
He recalled that in 1994 a study named him as one of the 100 business-oriented personalities in the world which was topped by Bill Gates, presently the most richest person in the world and wondered whether if in 1994 he was one of the talented business persons in the world, could not provide the kind of leadership needed to enable the country to attain the required economic development.
Mr Kyerematen was hopeful that his colleagues in the race would run a campaign based on issues that would promote the growth of the NPP and the country and not smear each other for their advantage.
He explained that whatever the situation, the party's aspirants would continue to belong to the great NPP family no matter the outcome of the congress in December and urged all the personalities in the race and their supporters to be united for victory in 2008.
Story By Ransford Tetteh, Koforidua