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25.11.2008 Regional News

Nana Addo vows to unite Bawku…when he assumes office in January

By William N-lanjerborr Jalulah - Ghanaian Chronicle

IN ORDER for him to run an effective government, devoid of tribal, ethnic or chieftaincy conflicts, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured the Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area and his people, that he was committed to uniting them, when elected president on December 7.

Having acknowledged the significant role the Paramount Chief, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, played in stabilising his volatile traditional area, the presidential hopeful said his government would go extra miles to reconcile the people of Bawku, so as to pave the way for development.

Mr. Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on the chief, during his campaign tour of the Upper East Region, where he was overwhelmingly received.

“The nation needs peace for development, and now that we are going for elections, nothing should be done to mar the beauty of the peace that we are all looking for,” he stressed.

Naba Abugrago II, on his part, thanked Nana Addo for acknowledging him as the Chief of Bawku.

He gave Nana Addo his blessings, and wished him well in his bid to occupy the highest position of the land.

The chief, his elders, Nana Addo and some members of his entourage, including his running-mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, held a closed-door meeting, before moving to the regent of the Mamprusi, where Nana reiterated his commitment to reconciling the two feuding factions.

It would be recalled that on December 31, last year, Bawku was rocked by violence that erupted between the Kusasis and Mamprusis over chieftaincy issues. Several lives and property were lost, and many people displaced.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice under the present administration, addressed mini rallies at Bawku, Garu, Binduri and Zebilla.

He also paid courtesy calls on the chiefs of these constituencies, as well as Pusiga, where he visited the family house of the late Hawa Yakubu, and laid a wreath on her crypt.

It was when his convoy was moving from Pusiga to Garu-Tempane that two cars in the convoy went off the road at a detour near a bridge, and landed upturned in a ditch.

The occupants included Nana Obiri, Operations Manager of the campaign team, and two ladies, Fati and Rabi, who sustained minor injuries.

At a mammoth regional rally in Bolgatanga, which Nana Addo described as an “incredible crowd” in the history of other regional rallies, especially in the weak holds of the party, he reaffirmed his plan to modernise agriculture in the North, through his yet-be-established GH¢1 billion Northern Development Fund, establish more vocational and technical schools and expand social infrastructure.

He said when was setting aside the development fund, the NDC said if he could raise that amount, then he should use it to settle the debts of the Volta River Authority, but now they were also claiming that they would set up the Savannah Accelerated Development Fund.

Nana Addo said now that the NDC had bought the idea, it meant that they were copying his ideas, trailing behind him, and would trail behind him when the election results were announced after the polls.

He pledged to close the developmental gap between the North and the South in the first six months of his occupancy of office as president.

According to him, Ghanaians had not seen any good things in the 19 years rule of the PNDC/NDC but cruelty, contending that he decided to go into politics not because he wanted to make money, but to ensure that there was total freedom and justice in the country.

He stated that he was one of the senior lawyers in the country, and if it were money that he wanted to make, he could have made it through his noble career and not through politics.

Mr. Akufo-Addo regretted that some of his opponents were practicing what he called divide and rule tactics, by preaching to Ghanaians that the NPP was an Akan political party.

Nana's campaign team was led in the region by the Regional Minister, Alhassan Samari. Some of the other party officials included Gloria Akofo, Ghana's Ambassador-designate for the Republic of Ireland, former Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Alan K. Kyerematen, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Rita Asobayire, Yoofi Grant, and some parliamentary candidates.