My Listening Tour Is Vital - Says Nana Addo
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has been sharing his experience after embarking on what he has dubbed a 'Listening Tour' to know the needs of the electorate as he prepares for the 2012 presidential election.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, interacting with ordinary Ghanaians on the tour was further positioning him properly to be able to respond appropriately to the development needs of the country if he is elected as president of the republic.
Making a rare appearance on 'Caucus' on Multi TV on Monday, the former Foreign Affairs Minister said, 'I am very surprised to hear my critics question my decision to go on tour.
These are the same people who claim to have a patent on door-to-door and house-to-house campaigning and who claim to have invented it as a form of political campaigning.
'More seriously, I think political leaders, those who aspire to hold high office are expected to be in constant interaction with those who they want to serve and lead. It must be a good thing because at any one stage, they are situated in reality.'
He said constant interaction with the people helps to 'know what the problems are out there and then from the perspective from which they have come to office to address those problems. I think what I am doing is really important'.
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that he found his contact with the people 'very invigorating', adding, 'There are very important intelligent people, very compassionate, kind, caring people with a tremendous sense of humour.'
He said, 'Even in the most difficult circumstances, there is always the way that they can come at you with something that allows you to laugh and release the tension. I am certainly enjoying this one a great deal'.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who was also the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under the NPP administration, said his political opponents were engaged in what he called 'absurd attempts to demonize' him, adding, 'I suppose part of their worry is that going out and showing yourself to the good people as you are is doing away with a lot of the perceptions and perhaps that may not serve their propaganda purposes so well in the future.
'During my listening campaign, there was this woman who walked up to me and shook my hands and said she was surprised I shook her, considering the things she had heard about me. Apparently, she was told I only shook people when I wore gloves; and I thought that was absurd.”
He said throughout his 'Listening Tour', 'All kinds of things and many things are the things you can anticipate. There are some fundamental things that seem to run through places that I have been visiting.'
He said three pressing issues complained about mostly were the quality of road networks in the country, lack of job opportunities particularly for the youth and the standard of education in the country.
'The cry for good roads is almost universal. Village after village, wherever you go, young people are around having nothing to do. We must let Ghanaians recognize what education in terms of transforming their lives.'
'Caucus' is a programme designed by Multi TV, a cable television, to afford political parties a one-stop campaign platform to inform, educate and present their political agenda and manifesto to a captive audience, in an ongoing dialogue with voters.
'Caucus' also offers the parties a unique opportunity to review the most pertinent political issues and activities undertaken during the week under their respective ambits. It is shown every Monday to Friday at 6:30pm.
By William Yaw Owusu