Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has promised the people of the Volta Region of massive development of the region under his leadership as President of Ghana.
He expressed belief that there was oil in the Keta Basin which his government would endeavour to find to help accelerate the development of the region.
Nana Akufo-Addo made the promise when he addressed a regional rally of the NPP at the RTC Park in Ho.
Turnout was very encouraging and underlined the in-roads being made by the NPP in a region considered to be the “World Bank” of the main minority party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“If the crowd here is anything to go by, then it's clear that there is a new wind of change in the Volta Region. Four years ago we could not have seen such a crowd,” a leading member of the NPP, Mr Alan Kyerematen, said.
Although political watchers in the region are not excited by the size of crowds at rallies as a reflection of the strength of political parties on the ground, they nevertheless admit that the NPP has been more organised in the region, particularly in Ho Central, for this year's elections than ever before and that will most likely change its political fortunes in the region at the December 7 polls.
The gradual and effective penetration of the NPP in the region is said to have caused the NDC to revise its strategy in order to consolidate its overwhelming hold on the region.
Traditionally, the Volta Region has been the stronghold of the NDC since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1992. Currently, out of the 22 parliamentary seats in the region, the NPP has only one — Nkwanta North.
While acknowledging the difficult political terrain in the region, NPP insiders are confident that the party will make a huge impact there at the December 7 polls by improving on its fortunes. The party's strategy in the region for Election 2008 is to increase its parliamentary seats and its presidential votes.
That was the expectation with which Nana Akufo-Addo invited the electorate in the Volta Region to join forces with the NPP to help accelerate the development of the region and build a new Ghana that held enormous promise for the youth.
Outlining his vision for that new Ghana, he said a government under his leadership would pursue policies such as free education to the senior high school level, science and technology, information and communications technology (ICT), modernised agriculture, industrialisation and the spirit of oneness among the people.
Commenting on the agenda for change, which had been the campaign message of some political parties, Nana Akufo-Addo cautioned Ghanaians not to be swayed by such a clarion call because change could be good or bad.
He asked the people not to accept any change that would take the nation back to the era of the “cash-and-carry” system, human rights abuses, the Criminal Libel Law, bad economic management and a change that would abolish good policies such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme.
He said he would continue the good policies of the NPP administration since it took office in 2001 to improve the lot of Ghanaians.
He said he was not in politics for personal gain.
“I'm a famous lawyer and if I want to make money, I will stay in my chambers,” he remarked.
Nana Akufo-Addo urged the electorate to go out in their numbers in a peaceful manner to vote on election day, adding that Ghanaians must demonstrate to the world that the Black man was capable of managing his own affairs.
A leading member of the NPP, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, said Election 2008 was a straight contest between the NPP and the NDC, and that comparing the records of the two parties in government, particularly their management of the economy, the NPP was far ahead of the NDC.
He, therefore, urged the electorate to retain the NPP in power to enable it to continue its good works.
Speakers who mounted the dais at the rally included Mr Kyerematen and the Campaign Manager of the party, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Story By Tim Dzamboe & Kofi Yeboah, Ho