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16.10.2007 NPP News

NPP delegates urged to elect a candidate with untarnished character


Delegates to the December 22, New Patriotic Party (NPP) congress to elect its flag bearer have been urged to elect a leader whose credibility the opposition cannot question.

Mr. Isaac Atasige, a member of the campaign team of Papa Owusu- Ankomah, one of the NPP's presidential candidates who made the call said the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was hoping that NPP elects a flag bearer whom it could launch vile propaganda against.

Mr. Atasige was briefing newsmen in Tamale after he had interacted with constituency executives of the party to explain to them the vision of Papa Owusu Ankomah for the party and the country and to urge them to vote for him to lead the party.

He said Papa Owusu Ankomah's track record had shown that he was a man whose reputation and character were not in question and therefore the NDC would be hard pressed to find anything to use against him if he were elected the NPPs flag bearer.

He reminded the NPP delegates that the December 22 election was more than searching for a flag bearer but a candidate who could win the votes of the floating and sympathetic voters that would make the party win the 2008 elections.

Mr. Atasige said the 2008 elections were going to be very tough considering that the two major parties, the NPP and the NDC had both had their turns in governing the country and as such the electorate had the opportunity to judge their respective performances.

He said it was for strategic reasons that the NDC had retained Professor John Atta Mills as its presidential candidate, explaining that the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta regions were already the strongholds of the NDC and what was left was to use Professor Mills to win the sympathy votes from the Central Region.

He said it was in the light of this that the NPP needed to elect Papa Owusu Ankomah as its candidate to counter this "threat".

Mr. Atasige said Papa Owusu Ankomah's track record in the numerous ministerial positions he served in the Kufuor administration such as, Majority leader, Minister of the Interior and Minister for Education, Science and Sports showed that he was an achiever and was likely being groomed for the ultimate position of being the Chief Executive of the State.

He said as the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu Ankomah introduced the concept of distance learning; he also introduced a loan scheme for the purchase of motorcycles for teachers and negotiated to bring about an improvement in the salaries of teachers.

He also improved the condition of schools that had classes under trees and decentralised the award of contracts for furniture in schools.

At the Ministry of the Interior, Papa Owusu Ankomah introduced the border patrols that helped minimise smuggling and was also instrumental in the negotiations of Anglogold Ghana.

He debunked rumours that Papa Owusu Ankomah was in alliance with any of the other presidential aspirants and said they were rather eager to make him their running mate because of his popularity.