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30.11.2007 Politics

Dan Botwe Storms London with his “Time is Now” campaign message

By AllenJoe Opoku-Agyemang

Dan Kwaku Botwe, now firmly established as one of the frontunners for the flagbearership of the NPP in the upcoming congress, is believed to be on a very brief visit to London to engage with supporters and wellwishers.

Well informed sources indicate that Dan's standing as the one major politician in the country perceived as being closest to ordinary 'grassroots' party members in particular, and ordinary Ghanaians in general, across both major parties, the NPP and the NDC, has led to a clamour among significant sections of the Ghanaian community in London for him to come and share with them the remarkable progress of his campaign.

Few doubt Dan's close and enduring relationship with the ordinary 'rank and file' members of the party and this has given rise to a great deal of consternation among the other candidates who profess to be seasoned, but are often perceived as being remote from the ordinary delegates. His opponents within the party openly admit to his closeness and this is what makes his bid such a potent one. Dan's opponents' tactic of paying huge sums of money to 'prospective delegates' even though the actual delegates are yet to be chosen, is believed to be backfiring on them. It is self evident that he has established a solid 'grass roots'-based structure rooted in communities right across the country as revealed by a visit to his offices where there is a constant reminder of the 'verandah boys' atmosphere reminiscent of Nkrumah's CPP from 1948 onwards; his experience of political and administrative leadership, party management and developing 'democratic capacity' structures is now acknowledged internationally and his insights are greatly sought after in other countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Sierra Leone; this is unparalleled for a politician of his generation in Africa.

According to the source, Dan will be emphasising the key themes of his campaign as captured in his now famous 'Time is now' testament and statement released to the nation when he formally filed his nomination on 31st October. In it he stressed that he would take the campaign to the party and the nation and that he would seek to change the terms of the debate comperehensively. He went on to add that:

• It will no longer be adequate to talk about who has waited longest, but it will be about who will serve hardest and best;
• It will no longer be about who is the oldest or youngest, but it will be about who has experienced the issues of the ordinary party member, the ordinary Ghanaian, and is therefore able to deliver in line with their priorities and aspirations; a leader prepared to serve.
• It will not be about who is wealthy, but about who is worthy of the party and the people's trust;

It will certainly not be about remote party leadership, but about the one experience that is indispensable in politics – winning with and for the people.

The visit is expected to last a few days to enable Dan to return to the battleground refreshed and ready to drive hard onto victory now that the closing of NPP nominations has signalled the final chapter of this fascinating race.

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