The Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya constituency, Mike Oquaye has challenged John Evans Atta Mills, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress to personally come out to respond to the statements made by President John Agyekum Kufuor about his very notable absence on the political scene in the run up to the December polls.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Statesman at his Haatso residence, Professor Oquaye said when President Kufuor asked where the NDC candidate was, the president was raising a political issue, crucial to the constitutional arrangement as well as effective governance structure of the country.
'Our good president must have noticed that the NDC presidential candidate is glued to two regions since he had postponed several announced visits to Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions and virtually declared the North a no go area', he stated.
According to Prof Oquaye, a presidential candidate must be very conversant with all the regions, and agreed with President Kufuor's statement on the NPP campaign platform at Madina last week that 'a candidate who cannot even go to the north of Ghana to campaign, how can he represent Ghana?'
'A presidential candidate is a leader of every constituency and must be seen to be appearing in all the constituencies. The vice presidential candidate can only complement his effort but not to take over the job as is happening in the NDC', he said.
'A president must ensure regional balance in his actions and in every thing. He must show effective familiarity and acquaintance in all the constituencies in Ghana. In domestic terms, the president is the embodiment of the nation.
He must identify himself with all and sundry and make a physical manifestation in all the districts and regions which make a nation', he added.
'At any time or the other, Ghanaians deserve to know who is in charge. It cannot be Rawlings or John Mahama. It must be the flagbearer. If they [NDC] have not got a good candidate, they must come out to admit it.
I totally agree with the president when he asked'Jack where you are', he should have responded if he was really actively campaigning', he stressed.
Prof Oquaye stated that 'the defense available to Professor Mills now is to come out and say he is active from his record and with evidence to prove president Kufuor wrong.
If they really want to contest they should not delay but come out and deny the president's statement or give good reasons for not being active' he emphasised.
He stressed that it was not a personal attack on Prof Mills.
'All we are saying is that the NDC man hasn't got the capacity to do the job and Ghanaians wouldn't want him because of his inactivity.
He has not demonstrated the capacity to be ubiquitous. Whether he is sick or not, all we are saying is that he cannot do the job given to him'.
'Professor Mills is a fine gentleman and I personally wish him well. But issues are issues and must be discussed, hence my contribution to help make Ghana a country worth living in.'