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18.11.2008 Elections

Nana Akufo Addo:WHY I AM RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT...corruption will be my hallmark

By Zam R. Samin Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle
Nana Akufo Addo:WHY I AM RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT...corruption will be my hallmark

For the three days that ended over the weekend at Effiakwesiminstim, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, made an impassioned declaration that corruption was going to be one of the touchstones that would define his presidency.

From Daboase to Elembele and from New Takoradi to Agona Nkwanta in the Western Region, the recurrent theme was constant reference to his background as one of the top five lawyers in the country, and the fact that he knows how to make money.

He said those who thought he was in the race for the presidency to make money for himself, were dead wrong, because he did not have to credit yorke gari in his previous life, a remark that allegedly provoked a dire threat on his life by ex-President Rawlings, according to a Daily Guide report.

Nana Akufo Addo said he knew how to employ his legal skills to make money, and that he was in politics to serve and to improve the life of the people.

He went on to promise to extend the foundation the sitting President, Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, had laid in providing free basic education, to senior high schools.

He said he was saddened when he heared the youth cite their parents' inabilities to pay school fees, as a reason for dropping out of school, and pledged to work towards providing free education for Senior High schools in the country by the end of his term.

There was a spontaneous applause at the news.

Nana Osafo Maafo, who was one of the speakers that toured with him, noted that the National democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Professor Mills, had clearly expressed doubts about the feasibility of free basic education in the country.

He said that they also doubted the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS), which replaced the 'Cash and Carry' system initiated by the NDC government.

He said he was shocked that the NDC would now turn to promise the people of Ghana that they would modify and twitch the National Health Service, and had captured it in their their manifesto.

He said the NPP, which initiated the service, was better placed to work on any glitches and straighten up any rough edges, if any developed.

Working on the crowds at these stops, the NPP flagbearer and his team noted the people would reject the NDC at the polls this year too, and give the NPP another term to come and continue with the good works that President Kufuor started, including the NHS and education, and manage the oil wealth that had now been found.

He was accompanied by most of the members of parliament (MPs) in the region, including the disappointed aspirant for Effiakwesimintsim, Nana Kofi Coomson, who did not have the opportunity to speak on the platform at Kwesimintsim.

Asked what he was going to say if he had the chance, Kofi Coomson said as a journalist, he was going to give firsthand testimony about the legal prowess of Nana AkufoAddo, because his firm put up a titanic struggle for his freedom, and paved the way for media and people's freedoms in 1996.

He recalled the names of his colleagues, Eben Quarcoo and the late Tommy Thompson, as the premier victims of the NDC government, when the former Minister of Justice, Obed Asamoah, hit them with the seditious libel suit in 1996, which dragged on for four years, until Nana Addo became the Attorney General, and filed a notice of discontinuance of the case.

That signalled the proscription of the seditious and criminal libel laws, under which Messrs Kwaku Baako and Haruna Attah were labouring.

He added that he was also going to urge the youth in the constituency and his supporters, to band together and vote for the incumbent MP, Mr. Joe Baidoo-Ansah, and of course Nana Addo, because it was essential that Joe and Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo added the constituency to the certain 13 seats which they now controlled.

He explained that the NPP flagbearer would need to have sufficient legislators to push through his fantastic plans for the country, and specifically for the Effiakwesiminstim constituency, which he said was acclaimed the Florida of the Western Region.

He revealed that he had introduced the Chairman of the Rigworkers Association of Ghana to the kingmakers of Apremdo, Nat Payne and the chief of the community, to help the youth of the community train as rig workers, and other downstream skills needed in the oil industry, citing work for people in Tanokrom Kokompe and surrounding areas to take up jobs, when the actual oil production begins next year, and the year after.

He said these were some of the preparatory work that had to be done, as pointed out to the flagbearer. These dreams will not come into being, unless Nana Addo won and Baidoo Ansah also won, for the plans to take effect.

“It is Nana's victory that would usher in the beginning of the solution of the incidence of unemployment in Apremdo, Assakae, Whindo, New Site, Kwesimintsim, and all the communities that make up Effiakwesimintsim. Voting the pair in would make it easier,” he said.