The Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, says God has prepared him for the presidency and he is sure to win it.
Jake, a contender in the flagbearership race of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has explained that since he was able to secure victory for president Kufuor through his organizational abilities, he was sure of securing victory to lead the party in 2008.
"Look at me. I have been your campaign manager for two terms and at the same time your Regional Chairman. Look at my track record. I have been in private sector for 30 years and know how to create jobs. I did it for JAK, I can do it for Jake," The Chronicle quotes him as saying at various constituencies over the weekend when he met with party delegates and opinion leaders in Ada, Trobu Amasaman and Ashaiman constituencies to canvass for votes.
Apart from commitment, dedication and track record, Jake said the delegates must vote for a candidate that could win the general elections, build the party and build upon what the incumbent President J.A. Kufuor would leave behind.
According to him, the party would face serious problems if the delegates elect a candidate who would not win the presidency for the party but send the party back to opposition, adding that the chosen candidate should be able to reach out to non-NPP members.
"You must choose somebody who would become the President on the ticket of NPP but not anybody who cannot win the general elections and become the President but rather send us back into opposition; opposition is a hell," he emphasized.
Recounting the challenges ahead of the party, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, said, "Nobody should think that he is going to win easily. No one should assume that if I become an NPP candidate, I am going to win. I have an appeal that goes beyond the NPP. The people in the South, North, East and others like me know that I can deliver," he said.
"If you make a mistake by voting for a candidate who cannot win the presidency, you would be blamed for the mistake," he admonished them.
"If you make me the flagbearer and I become the President of this nation, with your support and prayers, I would institutionalize and professionalize the party. I have the capacity to inspire our people to believe that NPP can do it. I have the ability that can attract non-NPP votes. God has prepared me for the job. Look at me and vote for me."
He said the party needs somebody who can articulate the views of its members and can create more jobs to satisfy them.
Jake, one of the gifted orators in the nation, said that one of the major crises in the nation was unemployment, attributing it to the thousands of students who graduate from tertiary institutions.
The NPP aspirant, who was the first Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs in the administration of President Kufuor's government and later moved to Ministry of Information as the substantive Minister, was of the view that modernisation of agriculture was not alone cannot be the panacea to the problems but also the restructuring of the tourism sector which he said pulls more revenue for the nation.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, told the delegates at Troubu Amasaman, Ada and Ashaiman, that when given the chance to become the President, having served the party as its Regional Chairman and knowing the problems, he would do everything possible to revive the hopes of party members.
He said after institutionalizing the party, he would ensure that party organizers, especially the women, had adequate resources to campaign for the party whenever they organize women in market places and others.
At Kingsby Hotel in Achimota where the aspirant met with over 40 people from the Troubu Amasaman constituency including opinion leaders, party executives and the Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Samuel Nii Attoh, the aspirant was quizzed about what he would do with the other aspirants if he emerged as the winner and how he would handle discontented teachers who more often than not served as presiding officers during elections.
Party members believed that since teachers were currently at war with the government, they could easily work against the party hence their question.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey however responded that he would unite them and bring all of them on board in the interest of the party.
With regard to the teachers, the campaign strategist said, "We will cross the bridge when we reach there."
At Ashaiman, where he was mobbed, the aspirant recounted what he would do for the party.
His visit to the constituency coincided with a well attended general meeting of the party.
After selling himself and his message to the party members, Jake was given a standing ovation.
Credit: The Chronicle