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11.04.2007 General News

People are fed up with promises and assurances - Dan Botwe


An aspiring presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Mr Dan Botwe, has said that mere promises and assurances will not be convincing enough for anybody seeking votes from Ghanaians and suggested that the party should devise a new campaign strategy for annexing political power in 2008.

"The ground rules have changed from the electoral realities of 2000 and 2004 and from an opposition party to a governing party with the aim of winning power for the third consecutive period," Mr Botwe told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

"This is a history making election that demands a well thought-out campaign strategy based on issues and not mere political rhetoric and noise. People are fed up with promises and assurances," he added.

Mr Botwe who begins a campaign tour of the Western Region to interact with constituency executives and a cross-section of NPP members said he held the key to the party's victory in Elections 2008.

"I have a track record of being the only General Secretary in modern times to have marshalled the party to kick out the once dreaded ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) out of office for a Danquah-Busia electoral victory in 30 years," Mr Botwe said.

He added: "With my able lieutenants at the national, regional, constituency and ward levels we fought again to maintain power in Elections 2004. I am a General well tested to lead the party as its Commanding Officer, presidential candidate, to win the election.

"Having had my share of student activism and exile life in the Rawlings revolution, having dedicated several years to party work as General Secretary and Director of Operations at headquarters and having sat in cabinet meetings as Information Minister, none of the other aspirants can boast of a greater experience than me, whether in leading a party successfully through an election or in running the affairs of government."

The former Information Minister said the best practice for the party would be to conduct clean politics based on merit, candidates' capabilities, principles and sound policy so that solid grounds could be laid for credible leadership and poverty reduction in the communities.

Mr Botwe said he was committed to conducting a fair and decent campaign in the run-up to the party's National Delegates' Conference slated for December this year despite the overriding determination to win.

"Much as I am determined to leave no stone unturned in the bid to become the party's flag bearer for Elections 2008, my campaign will be devoid of foul play, insults and violence and I hope other aspirants will do the same to help consolidate our fledgling democracy."

Mr Botwe reiterated his call for urgent strategies to improve upon the performance of the party in the three northern regions, Volta and Western regions before the 2008 vote.

He said party functionaries in the constituencies, districts and regions could do this through sustained canvassing, commitment and hard work.

"If, as a party in power, we continue to get only the same number of seats in the Upper East and Volta Regions as we got when we were in opposition, in spite of all the visible development infrastructure we have provided for the people, then something is definitely not right somewhere and we ought to be able to figure it out."

On the possible influence of money in the NPP primaries, Mr Botwe urged delegates to look beyond monetary considerations when it came to deciding who should lead the party in the next election.

"It is impossible to dish out money to everybody who matters. But even if I give each delegate 1,000 dollars and get elected as presidential candidate, I will not feel any sense of responsibility towards any party member if I become president tomorrow because I bought the position with my money and I would do as I please," he said.

Source: GNA