Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has declared that he is best-placed to lead the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the 2008 elections, having served a 7-year apprenticeship under the tutelage of President Kufuor. He indicated that among the 19 contestants, he was the one closest to the number one stool, with the added benefit of having acted on a record number of times as president and therefore had all it takes to succeed President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama made these remarks at separate durbars of chiefs and people of the Nzema and Wassa Amenfi Traditional Areas in the Western region. "I now want to be the master," he told an elated crowd during a 3-day campaign tour of the region."Experience is the best teacher. You cannot find experience in any textbook or buy it with money. Experience equips a person with the necessary tools to lead."During an interaction with the chiefs and people of Beyin and Wassa Akropong, the Vice President pointed out that he was in their midst to seek their blessing to serve the country with humility.
"I have served the country for the past seven years with humility. Humility is not a weakness."He said he holds the trump card to victory for the NPP in the 2008 general elections and that he had acquired skills in good governance. He added that he was the bridge to unite Ghana and attract floating voters for the NPP and as such was a huge electoral asset to the NPP in terms of marketability and acceptability to the electorate. The Omanhene of Wassa Akropong, Kasapreko Kwame Basanyi appealed for improvement of the road network in the area, and requested for the construction of a nursing school as well as the provision of a bus for the Wassa Akropong Senior High School. Kasapreko Basanyi as well called for the extension of electricity to the community.
Responding to the numerous development challenges confronting the communities he visited, Vice President Mahama assured the chiefs and people of his personal intervention to address their concerns. The common concern expressed by the chiefs was the bad nature of roads in the region. At Enchi, the traditional authority told the Number Two Citizen that successive governments had played politics with the construction of link roads to other parts of the region, therefore the people were waiting for the NPP to fulfill its promise to change that perception.
Alhaji Mahama said Enchi, as a major cocoa producing area, was the heartland of the country's development, hence government's commitment to tackle the poor road network in the area and provide the communities with basic amenities. Nana Ntadu III, paramount chief of Sefwi Wiawso and Awulae Annor Ajaye III, paramount chief of Beyin, also bemoaned the poor road network in their traditional areas. The Vice President assured the two chiefs of efforts to provide a three-phase electricity line by December this year to facilitate the establishment of small-scale industries.
At Wassa Akropong, the paramount chief asked government to address the problem of erratic power supply in the area, expand the health facility and provide a bus for the local Senior High School. As part of his campaign tour, Vice President Mahama would as well visit the Ashanti and Northern regions.