A member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Paul Afoko, has denied allegations that he led a team of campaigners to Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region to canvass for votes for Mr Alan Kyeremanten, one of the presidential aspirants of the party.
He has also expressed shock and dismay over newspaper allegations that he used President J.A. Kufuor's name to solicit support for Mr Kyeremateng.
“There is no iota of truth in the allegations, which are preposterous and baseless and meant to gag me from asking party delegates to closely examine all the aspirants, “ he stressed.
“The allegations are untrue. They are totally out of malice and out of place. I have never campaigned for any aspirant by mentioning the President's name. I cannot use his name in vain and I will not do anything that will bring his name into disrepute.”
In a statement issued in Accra to deny the allegations Mr Afoko said further that at the meeting he addressed the party's delegates and introduced himself as a member of the party.
The statement dismissed allegations that he threatened district and municipal chief executives, and promised the party members special packages.
“I am totally shocked about the turn of events. At the meeting, I only spoke on the need for cohesion, party unity and togetherness to help us win the next elections. I have never mentioned any aspirant's name. I have never given money to anybody as reported in the newspapers. In fact, it is a figment of a fevered imagination that I used President Kufuor's name to campaign,” the statement said.
The NPP member said as a sentient being, he was discerning enough to make judgement or form opinions for himself with regard to who succeeds President Kufuor, and that he would not do anything untoward.
He therefore dared anybody to ask the over 240 delegates who attended the meeting whether at any point in time he used the President's name and promised them packages.
'All our aspirants are capable of leading the NPP and Ghana. I asked them to open their doors to all of them, embrace them and examine them very well and find out from them their new ideas or original ideas and others. I did not mention who they should support,” he said.
Expressing concern about personality attacks and the pull him down syndrome, which were beginning to surface within the party, Mr Afoko said that his desire was to see Ghana progress in terms of job creation and social justice, and urged the party members to conduct clean campaigns devoid of mudslinging and attitudes which were not in the interest of the party.
According to him, the more party members launched offensive attacks on individuals within the party, the more the NDC would get ammunition to throw at them in the general elections.
“If we do that we will be supplying the NDC ammunition to attack us in the next general elections. Let us be mindful of our actions and utterances,” the statement charged.
Asked about which aspirant he supported in the face of the allegations, he said, “Even though all the aspirants are fine and respectable persons, it is only one of them that I believe fits the criteria to lead this country.
“My criteria has been that the one who can maintain the fast track of development of this country for us to achieve middle income status in 2015 as opposed to 2020 and anybody who understands management in both the public and private sector.”
Accordingly, he stressed that any aspirant who fitted that criteria was the person to lead the country into the future.
“This country and this party need the future and not the past. I believe that after critical examination, there is only one aspirant who has such track record and is a bridge internally within the NPP and also a bridge between the outgoing and the future of our party,”.
“Such a person is the bridge between our immediate past and future,”.
Mr Afoko condemned insults and intimidations, to the effect that “The selection of our candidate is the battle for hearts and minds of our party and country. Therefore, there is no room for insults, intimidation, lies and threats. The battle ground is the battle of vision and ideas. I, therefore, want to repeat my call to party members to ensure that we have a clean campaign, devoid of negatives attitudes”.