05.12.2007 Politics

Reject aspirants who come in the name of Kufuor

By The Statesman
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One of the contenders of the NPP presidential seat, Hon. Felix Owusu Adjapong has urged delegates not to entertain any aspirant who claims to be enjoying the support of the President.

According to Hon. Owusu Agyapong, the President in his own words has stated unequivocally that he does not support any particular candidate so insistence on the part of any aspirant that he enjoys Presidential support would be tantamount to a serious indictment on the integrity of the President and describing the Chief Executive Officer of the State as a liar.

"I believe such person should be pun¬ished by the delegates for inventing falsehood against our President and the best form of retribution for such a person would be to reject him," he advised.

The former Parliamentary Affairs and Transport Minister, who made this statement during an interaction with a cross section of the media, noted that the President ¬on several platforms had demonstrated his neutrality as far as the race was concerned and therefore it would be unfair and decep¬tive on the part of anybody to say that the President supports that candidate.

"The man is a gentle giant and respects the essence of democracy in our party and would not take such an entrenched position," he remarked.

The aspirant who had kept his campaign away from the media said he had done enough consulta¬tions and had finished interacting with those who matter when it comes to the final decision and believed it was now time for him to go public.

Explaining the three main ide¬ologies which characterized his campaign, Hon. Owusu Adjapong noted that it was his decision to go customary because in the Akan tradition, one has to do a lot of consultations with king makers before being installed as chief or head of a traditional society.

Drawing a similarity between the NPP Presidential race and the appointment of a chief, he assert¬ed that a person has to secure the confidence and the approval of the various factions in a family through secret consultations and make sure one is free from any blemish lest somebody doubt that one is royalty after he/she has been appointed. "It is the same in this race because one has to be sure that one is clean and free from any blotches so that our opponents would get less to talk about him," he observed.

The former Minister indicated that judging by that score, he stood tall among all his competitors. He said during his term in office as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, he performed his job to the satis¬faction of both the majority and minority members in Parliament.

The aspirant, who described the campaign by some of his competi¬tors as highly misplaced and a form of putting square pegs in round holes, said he had decided to conduct his campaign in a moder¬ate way because he has a lot of respect for the delegates who would be making the final decision and would therefore not breach their confidence. "Why kill a rat with an AK47 riffle when I know I can smash it with piece of wood'?" he questioned, implying that he would not spend too much money to do unnecessary publicity which in the long run would not make any meaningful impact.

He argued that some of his com¬petitors were only making promis¬es, which may not see the light of day even when they win the race because it is the party that would at the end of the day draw the mani¬festo based on its ideology.

The former Minister asserted that he would personally not claim any credit for any achievement he made as a Minister because before a loan could even be approved for a project, it had to pass through a lot of channels. "For instance, a loan for a project requires the participa¬tion of the Finance, National Security, the Attorney General and the Parliamentary Affairs before it can be approved," he explained.

Hon. Felix Owusu Adjapong stressed that he had chosen to exhibit civility in his campaign by refraining from personal attacks because he believed that the NPP was one big family and would need unity and cooperation from all quarters of the party to maintain power come 2008.

"There is no sense attacking each other because at the end of the day, the winner would need the support of the vanquished to be able to secure additional votes from the opponents to survive in the elections," he emphasized.

The aspirant observed that even if the party can maintain the core of its supporters which is made up of over 35% of the total with a 5% marginal figure, it would still need an additional 10% outside its domain to enable it capture power, so the real work would not be to win the race alone but also how to penetrate the enemy's camp and draw some supporters into their fold.

He therefore called on his col¬league aspirants to be conscious of the kind of language used in their campaign in order not to supply their opponents with the ammuni¬tion to destroy the party come December 2008.

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