The flag bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, has thrown a challenge to Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for an open debate on ideas and how they intend to govern Ghana.
That, he said, coupled with the personal contributions and experience of the individual candidates, would offer the electorate a better outlook of the person they wanted to be their President in 2009.
“I respect Prof. Mills, he is a nice and kind person and I have worked with him before. I have also worked with Nana Akufo-Addo before, but I am ready to compete with them. I have got my ideas, my debits and credits are on the table," he added.
Dr Nduom threw the challenge in an interview with the Daily Graphic after he bad addressed his first press conference since his election as the CPP flag bearer. He said he had had working experience with both Prof. Mills in the NDC government and Nana Akufo-Addo during the NPP administration and respected them as highly intelligent personalities, equally qualified to be President.
Supported by Dr Kwaku Osafo, one of the losing CPP presidential hopefuls, Dr Nduom, who owns three hotels in Accra, Cape Coast and Obuasi and is also a major stakeholder in some financial institutions in the country, added that Ghanaians wanted an experienced person as President in January 2009.
Dr Nduom, a former assembly member and currently representing the people of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) in Parliament, said he had delivered visible and positive results as a Minister in the Economic Planning and Regional Co-operation, Energy and Public Sector Reform portfolios.
“I believe I am the experienced person Ghanaians are looking for,” he noted.
“I know how jobs are created in the private sector. I know the solutions which, when implemented, will make Ghana a caring and prosperous country. It is widely accepted that we now have a stable macro-economic environment. What we now need is a party that knows how to create jobs,” Dr Nduom added.
“I am here today to confirm that I will conduct a campaign of ideas and not one of ethnic origin or of personalities. I will not be part of a blame game. Our people deserve better than that,” he added.
He said Ghanaians now had the benefit of what the NDC and the NPP could do. Moreover, President Kufuor and former President J.J. Rawlings would not be on the ballot.
Dr Nduom said during the CPP congress the NPP talked about its relationship with the CPP and the NDC also talked about working with the CPP to “kill the elephant”, saying all that was in recognition of the fact that the CPP was a viable competitor.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that the CPP we are taking to the 2008 elections is not in the race to support anybody - not the NDC not the NPP. We are in the race to win. On January 7, 2009, I want to be the next President of the Republic of Ghana," Dr Nduom stated emphatically.
He expressed his preparedness to work with all the losing CPP presidential aspirants.
He also hinted that he and the new CPP Chairman, Mr Ladi Nylander, had initiated informal talks with the leadership of the People's National Convention (PNC) on a possible alliance to present a united Nkrumaist front.