VICE PRESIDENT Alhaji Aliu Mahama has made a strong claim to the flagbearership of the ruling New Patriotic Party, saying he is the unique brand among the 19 aspirants.
Describing himself as not only an electoral asset, a unifier and a team player, he said in terms of marketability, he was the best candidate.
“At the market place people buy what they want. I am the best person to be marketed by the NPP,” he said when he called on the Ga Chief, King Tackie Tawiah at his palace at North Kaneshie to officially announce his intention to bid for the flagbearership of the NPP.
“I'm now the chief apprentice after serving Kufuor for seven years. My Master is going and I must be the master. Bringing a new person can be dangerous,” he said.
The Vice President assured the Ga King of Government co-operation and support in all his endeavours.
He however spoke against litigation which according to him does not make for progress and development.
“Let us be accommodating and resolve our issues peacefully and amicably”, he said. He donated ¢50 million towards the traditional area's education endowment fund.
Expressing appreciation to the Vice President for the contribution, King Tackie Tawiah said the Vice President's gesture presented him as someone who had the interest of the underprivileged at heart.
According to him, the Vice President's boldness in seeking to lead the country showed that he had learnt adequately under President Kufuor.
“You will lead this country to greater heights and build upon the democracy that you have built for the past seven years. You have been a useful servant to the State,” he pointed out.
Continuing his busy schedule at the 70th anniversary speech and prize-giving day of the Abuakwa State College (ABUSCO), the Vice President noted that for the first time since independence, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had shown that constitutional provisions of freedom of speech, movement and association were workable.
He said the party had respected human rights and fought for the rule of law, hoping that the founding fathers' selflessness would be an example to the new generation.
Highlighting on the theme: “ABUSCO @ 70-Consolidating Traditional Initiative in Promoting Quality Education To Face The Challenges of the Future,” Vice President Mahama reminded the students that they were partners in the difficult task of building Ghana into a great and prosperous nation.
He asked the teachers to live above reproach and instill in the students good conduct, humility, punctuality, honesty, devotion and responsibility.
Vice President Mahama said ABUSCO would be transformed into a model college, provided with a school bus and its access roads rehabilitated.
Mrs. Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports who also spoke at the function, said ABUSCO was the first traditional and community sponsored pre-tertiary school to be established in the Eastern Province of the Gold Coast.
Nana Sir Ofori Attah I inaugurated ABUSCO, on 11th October, 1937.
Mrs. Baiden-Amissah noted that education was a means of eradicating poverty, disease and hunger and asked the students to seek information from books, articles, magazines, speeches and whatever was worth reading.
"Knowledge is power. Therefore my dear students seek knowledge and you will be empowered for life in the future. We need you to be efficient managers of the home, teachers, lawyers, doctors and whatever one can think of."
Mr Ofosu Asamoah, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister said government welcomed efforts of traditional authorities and all stakeholders to solve the myriad of problems that had bedevilled education institutions.
Mr Frederick Opoku, headmaster of the school, said the pursuit of knowledge should help combat moral decadence, unemployment, poverty and diseases, which hindered development.
He said the school was faced with lack of accommodation for the teaching staff, assembly hall, computers and computer laboratory, inadequate classroom facilities and dormitory blocks.
Professor S.K.B Asante, Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, who delivered the anniversary message, said the occasion was a fitting tribute to Nana Ofori Attah, the "indomitable King'', for his vision, forward looking and enduring legacy to Ghana and Okyeman (Kingdom of the Akyems).
He called on old ABUSCANS to establish endowment fund for the development of their alma mater.
Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante, Omanhene of Asante Asokore Traditional Area, who gave the keynote address, said traditional initiatives in education fell into broad categories such as the provision of land and other facilities for educational establishments and the construction of schools, colleges, universities and accommodation for staff of the institutions out of their own resources.
He said chiefs also assumed personal responsibilities for the education of children and royal family members and the establishments of scholarship schemes to facilitate the education of deserving youngsters in various communities at secondary and tertiary levels.
Nana Krobea Asante said traditional authorities had also contributed to the formulation and implementation of educational policies and programmes at the national level and education of communities generally about the prevention of diseases, good environment practices and the imperative of development.
By Sheilla Sackey