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Mar 26, 2008 | Politics

Kufuor Grandson Joins Race

By Daily Guide

Residents OF Manhyia Constituency in the Ashanti Region have unanimously welcomed President John Agyekum Kufuor's grandson's decision to contest for the parliamentary position in the constituency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). 

Thirty-nine-year-old Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh's father's mother, Obaapanin Akua Durowaa is the first of ten siblings with President John Agyekum Kufuor and former Defence Minister, Dr. Addo Kufuor as the seventh and eighth children respectively.

Dr. Prempeh's father, Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie is the current Apagyahene.

Dr. Prempeh is fervently hoping to succeed his grandfather, Dr. Addo Kufuor as Manhyia Member of Parliament (MP) in the upcoming polls to help retain the seat for the NPP and accelerate development of the area.

Dr. Addo Kufuor's decision not to contest the seat again after three consecutive terms in office is the motivation behind Dr. Prempeh's resolution to vie for the enviable slot.

Beaming with confidence, Dr. Prempeh, affectionately called Napo, ably supported by his aides on Tuesday morning inaudibly stormed the constituency office of the party at Ashanti New Town to pick his nomination forms to contest the seat.

Barely minutes after Napo had touched down at the party office, news of his intention spread like wildfire in the constituency, culminating in hundreds of residents flooding the premises to catch a glimpse of Dr. Prempeh, who had become their instant hero.

After he had successfully picked the forms, the constituents who were in ecstatic mood forced Dr. Napo to abandon his private Nissan Patrol car and rather proceed on a procession with them through the principal streets of Ash Town.

The charged residents, most of whom were staunch NPP members in the constituency, in unison chanted “Dr go, Dr. come,” perhaps to suggest that they were grateful to have an equally competent medical doctor of the caliber of Dr. Addo Kufuor to represent them in Parliament.

The procession which lasted for almost one hour, caused massive vehicular traffic in town and finally ended at the Apagyahene's palace, where Dr. Prempeh briefed the press about his vision for the party and the constituency at large.

Napo, who spoke eloquently both in English and Twi, said he stood by Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential aspirant of the NPP in belief that Nana could ensure the development of Ghana and the Ghanaian, saying, “I will work tirelessly to develop the constituency and its people, just as Nana, our incoming President has promised to do for Ghana and Ghanaians”.

Dr. Prempeh stated that he would not make any lengthy promises to the electorate, and stressed that he was competent, hardworking, God-fearing and ever ready to mobilize the assembly members in the area to lobby for developmental projects from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for the constituency.

“I have diligently learn and prepared myself for public service all these years and as MP, I will bring into politics pragmatic measures and policies where my people can hold me accountable for my actions.”

The KNUST graduate, who is also a member of the Glasgow Royal College of Surgeons, pledged also to help formulate good laws as MP in the august House to help transform the livelihood of every Ghanaian.

The Prempeh College graduate stressed that it was time Ghanaians counted their blessings collectively, adding that he would do his possible best to improve upon the good works that the NPP government had implemented in the constituency.

On why he was entering into politics, Napo, who was twice the local NUGS President of KNUST, noted that it had been his life-long ambition to help his fellow human beings, most especially those inflicted by poverty; “that is the reason why I studied to become a medical doctor to help save human lives.

“And I think with my knowledge and experience, as MP I can serve my country better by helping to formulate good laws which will contribute to better the lives of the mass populace and help curb poverty.

“In my view, it is only through good governance, rule of law and tolerance for one another that the country could sustain its current path to glory; and as MP, I would offer my expertise to my country to help quicken development”.

On his services for the party, Dr. Prempeh, who was among the elite group that formed the Danquah/Busia Group at KNUST, said his services for the party dated back to the 1980s even before the formation of the NPP in 1992.

“As the NUGS President at KNUST, I led a series of protests against the erstwhile PNDC junta; I led in organizing the first rally for the late Prof. Adu Boahen, the then presidential candidate of the NPP on campus.

“In my school days, I together with Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, MP for Atwima Nwabiagya, Mr. Collins Ntim, Mr. Prince Oduro among a host of others championed the cause of this great party on campus. No wonder the aforementioned persons are holding high offices in the NPP government.”

On his chances in the upcoming constituency primaries of the party, Napo hinted his readiness to embark on a 'house to house' campaign which would be based on issues, to win the enviable slot in the party hands down.

“I will go to the delegates one on one and explain to them the need for them to give me their nod. My message is summed up in one: 'they should not look at the past or the present, but rather the better future which I am sacrificing to lead them to'.

“I am pleading with the delegates to massively vote for me to lead the party to victory and I promise not to disappoint them; I will be a listening and a servant MP who will team up with them to develop the area together”.

He described his other challenger for the position, Hon. Osei Assibey Antwi, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister as equally qualified to contest for the seat, but contended, “I am the man of the moment and I am winning hands down”.

Napo promised to rally behind the eventual winner of the party's constituency primaries, but was hopeful that “come what may” he would be decorated with a crown of gold at the upcoming
constituency polls of the party.

The former KNUST NUGS President promised in his own way to embark on a spirited campaign to amass more votes for Nana Akufo-Addo in the presidential race, stressing that he would also retain the Manhyia seat for the party.

He promised a well-mannered campaign which would not give room for attacks on his opponents, stressing the need for members of the elephant family to shun acts that could adversely affect the fortunes of the party in the impending election, which he described as crucial.

From Fred J.A. Ibrahim Jnr., Kumasi

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