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28.10.2008 Politics

Reject 'weak' presidential aspirants

By The Statesman

Election 2008 is only 40 days away and all the Presidential candidates are leaving no stones unturned in their efforts to win the votes of the electorate so that they could occupy the Flag Staff House effective January 2009.

As part of his campaign messages, the flagbearer of the Nkrumaist Convention People's Party, Paa Kwesi Nduom, has admonished Ghanaians not to vote for any of the candidates who is "weak.'

Without naming any particular candidate, Dr Nduom said electing a candidate who was not strong enough to adequately fulfil the mandate given him to realise the aspirations of Ghanaians because of ill-health would be catastrophic to the nation"s forward march.

He said Ghana needs a strong President who could move across the length and breadth of this country to ensure equitable development and also undertake trips abroad to woo strategic investors into the country.

The CPP standard bearer made these observations a couple of days ago when he was addressing a rally at Kwame Danso in the Brong Ahafo Region as part of his campaign tour of the region.

In recent times the health of the candidates in this year's general has become a hot topic, following claims and counter claims of ill health by supporters of the leading political parties in the country.

Most recently, NDC flagbearer John Atta Mills's perceived ill health, which has prevented him from embarking on a sustained campaign tour has generated a lot of attention, although NDC activists and leaders, including the party's founder maintain their flagbearer is fitter than ever.

What is not clear though, is what exactly Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom meant by 'weak.' But whatever the meaning, the NDC will have none of it. Asked to react to the CPP flagbearer's statement, Hannah Tetteh, Director of Communication for the NDC Campaign, underscored, 'I haven't read the story and so I don't want to comment on it.'

At this juncture, Peter Atiemo offered to read the portion of the statement as published by The Statesman in its yesterday, October 27 edition, but Hannah refused to pay attention

and said, 'I don't want it; I will read the story myself. Thank you.' She cut the call immediately.

Also speaking to The Statesman yesterday, Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson of NPP candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said 'obviously Dr Nduom could not have been referring to our candidate. We are concentrating on our campaign, and do not wish to comment on this issue.'

Dr. Edward Mahama, flagbearer of the People's National Convention, simply replied, 'I don't know of any presidential candidate with ill-health.' On that note, he did not want to pass any further comment.

Yesterday The Statesman made all frantic efforts to reach Dr. Nduom for a clarification of what he meant by 'weak presidential candidate' but all attempts at getting to him did not yield any fruit.

When this paper called a cellular phone number a feminine voice responded and claimed to be his secretary. She however, declined to disclose her name.

Asked to give the number of her boss, she refused and instead called out the numbers of David Ampofo, Campaign Strategist for the CPP Campaign and Richmond Keelson, head of the party's communication outfit.

Upon receiving these numbers, The Statesman linked up with David but he said he was not at the said rally as he was discharging some duties in the Western Region.

He was therefore not aware of what exactly Paa Kwesi Nduom said at the rally.Keelson picked the call, said 'hello' but the line went dead. Several attempts were made to get back to him but he did not come back on the line, even though his phone kept ringing whenever the calls were made.