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By NPP Youth (UK & Ireland) Publicity
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The Youth Group of the NPP (UK & Ireland) branch successfully held a forum at the plush Dominion Centre in Wood Green, London to offer the opportunity for the youth, members and sympathisers of NPP and the general public to interact with the NPP national executives who were in the UK to deliberate and attend the annual Congress of the Conservative Party.

The master of ceremonies, Mr Kojo Yankah set the ball rolling by introducing the high-powered delegation from Ghana which included Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey the NPP National Chairman, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (Sir John) the National General Secretary (NPP), Hayford Atta Krufi Chairman of NPP UK and Ireland Branch, Veronica Heming, Women's Organiser and Alex Dadey, a Patron to the Youth Group who sponsored the plush venue of the event.

In his opening remarks, Francis Badu, the Youth Organiser (NPP UK &Ireland) said that it was sad that the NDC administration was taking Ghana back on what could have been a meaningful trek forward into greater prosperity and wealth for its people. He then went on to stake a claim for where the youth can be most effective in helping the party to stop the current stunted and downward slide of Ghana' s development and bring the NPP back to power. He confirmed that the youth were even more ready now than they had been in 2000 when they shook the foundations of the country to bring NPP back to power. He confirmed that plans were afoot for the youth of the branch to work in constituencies in the country to champion the crusade of returning the NPP into government in 2012.

In his address, Mr Hayford Atta Krufi was happy that the youth of the branch were working hard as demonstrated by the success of the event to help change the fortunes of the party in 2012. He reiterated the achievements of the Kufuor administration and contrasted it with the sorry state the country finds itself in with the current hapless NDC government. He particularly singled out the NDC government's wanton disregard for press freedom and the freedom of conscience as unacceptable.

Mr Atta-Krufi stated that before the 2008 elections, many Ghanaians in the diaspora had made plans to go back and settle in Ghana. Most of these plans he lamented, have however been abandoned due to the mismanagement of the country and the current general state of unease engulfing the country as a whole. He expressed the hope that Ghanaians, who are already regretting returning the NDC to power, would keep faith with the NPP by voting massively for the NPP in the 2012 elections.

The function was also addressed by Mr Michael Ansah, a Director of Price Waterhouse Coopers and a leading member of the NPP. He gave a very well researched and inspiring speech on the role of the “Youth in Politics and Governance in Ghana”. He traced this from his time as a student leader in the mid 1980s and the role students played in serving as a watchdog, trailblazers of democracy and keeping Ghana on a good path even in the face of persecution and oppression. He was of the view that the raw and untapped strength of the youth was very critical in pushing forward any agenda which a country wanted to embark on. He consequently urged the party to unleash the power of the youth so that they could carry the message of hope to the people that change would come with the NPP in power. The speech, which received a standing ovation, called on the youth of the party to rise to the challenges and demands of our dear county, Ghana and that the future and “the time for the youth is now”.

In his keynote address Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP national Chairman said that indeed the 2012 elections were going to be a defining moment in Ghana's history. He stated that Ghanaians will be faced with making a stark choice – either to end the abysmal performance of the listless NDC government or voting NPP back into power to move the country forward.

Mr Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey enumerated the successes of the NPP government covering education, health and the economy among others to a deafening applause. He lamented on the debts that the current government was piling on all Ghanaians and the fact that future generations would be saddled with debts they had no say in contracting. He revealed to the consternation of his audience that the loans that Ghana has taken in the two years of the NDC government are more than that which the country took for the entire eight years duration of the NPP administration.

Besides the general malaise that characterised today's NDC Ghana, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey poignantly noted how the NDC is concentrating on trivialities e.g. renaming of edifices instead of knuckling down and running the country properly. He was particularly scathing of the renaming of Jubilee house to Flagstaff House which is rather symbolic of our colonial past instead of Jubilee House which represents Ghana's proud post-colonial history.

There was fundraising at the event and this was led by Marlon Anipa, an Executive member of the branch was supported by Jojo Blankson of the Youth Wing and thousands of pounds was raised for Youth activities of the NPP in UK and Ghana

Finally, there was a very lively questions and answers session which was facilitated by Sir John, the indefatigable and hardworking General-Secretary of the NPP. The exciting contributions and questions generated from the floor made for a good and healthy interactive session with the NPP party officers. Some of the questions centred on how the party was strategising to utilise the internet as a tool in the run up to the 2012 elections, the selection of candidates of NPP parliamentary primaries, the strategies for the forthcoming elections and how the NPP should position itself to combat the NDC's traditional underhand methods of electioneering.

The forum ended with a vote of thanks by Tungtaeya Abdel Majeed and was followed by an informal session in the foyer of the Dominion Centre where members interacted with the party executives and invited guests.

A very fulfilling evening in London. The event lived up to its billing as an event not to be missed. It was an evening where Ghanaian Youth were made to feel proud to be Ghana and remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining and keep hope alive.

NPP Youth (UK & Ireland) Publicity

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