I'll Only Work With People Committed To Nation - Akufo-Addo
The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Election 2012, Nana Akufo-Addo, has given an assurance that he will only work with people who are committed to working to enrich the lives of Ghanaians and not people whose aim is to enrich themselves.
He has, therefore, issued a warning to all members of his party who may wish to serve in his government in the event of his electoral victory in this year’s presidential race to be well aware of this proviso.
At a breakfast meeting with the UK Chapter of the Young Executives Forum (YEF) of the NPP at Grosvenor House, London, Nana Akufo-Addo did not mince words when he spoke about corruption.
In a press statement, he declared, “My message to any of you or anybody for that matter who wishes to serve in an Akufo-Addo government is this: If you want to make money, then forget it. We don’t need you and we don’t want you.”
He went on to explain, “If you want to make money, I am all for making legitimate money. But if you want to make money, then, please, don’t come into politics. If you want to make money, then the private sector is your place. Stay there and keep away from politics.”
According to the NPP flag bearer, the culture where people chose politics as a money-making venture or career must be fought and defeated, adding, “It is frustrating the development of the country and breeding poverty.”
“Ghana is not poor. Ghanaians are not poor. What makes it so is poor management. We defeat poor management first and foremost by getting the right people in place,” he charged.
“I chose politics because I want to serve. I chose politics because I believe I can play a leading role to create opportunities for everyone and raise the living standards of our people. If money-making was my motivation, I would have stayed in my successful private practice as a lawyer and take fat legal fees,” he said of his personal example.
Nana Akufo-Addo told his audience of professional Ghanaians at Park Lane, Central London, that the fight against corruption must be fought on two main fronts: “One, strengthening, empowering and freeing up the institutions of state to deliver efficiently on their mandate, and, two, for those at the top to lead by example. I will lead by example.”
“By God’s grace, if we are successful in this year’s election, I want to attract to government a good blend of committed, competent Ghanaians, from home and abroad, experienced and creative, dynamic and dependable. We want to put together a team of patriots who can deliver and will get their biggest thrill from delivering on our programmes for people and country and not in enriching their pockets,” he said.
He said 'transforming our economy from a raw material producing one to an industrial one where our foreign receipts will rather come from the export of value added products and not raw materials remains my goal'.
Explaining, Nana Akufo-Addo said 'providing free, quality, accessible education up to senior high school for all our country's people will be a major component of that transformation'.
The NPP flag bearer further observed that 'going around the country, meeting and interacting with people, one can sense the high levels of despondency and disappointment in this NDC administration and the Ghanaian people are looking up to us in the NPP to come and save them'.
He outlined growing unemployment, collapsing businesses, widespread poverty, access to and cost of quality education, corruption, among others, as the major issues confronting the Ghanaian people, adding that 'when the NPP returns to power in 2013, by the grace of God, we will build on the gains of President Kufuor's regime and move Ghana forward'.
He assured members of the group that the continuous fabrications, insults and attacks on his person did not bother him at all.
'The NPP has given me a duty to win back power from the NDC in order to restore hope to our country and that remains my focus. As for the insults and lies, they are just a small price I'm paying for putting myself up to serve my people and that does not worry me at all,' he said.
He added that the NDC had also resorted to attacking his person because it did not have a message to tell the electorate, adding, 'President Mills's performance has been poor and his record poor and that is why they are evading all attempts to draw them into an issue- based campaign. But while they lie about us, we will also continue to tell the truth about them.'
Concluding, Nana Akufo-Addo said he was excited that the YEF had been internationalised and thanked the members for their continuous contribution to the growth and development of the NPP over the years.
The National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was present at the event, tasked NPP members in the diaspora to concentrate their efforts and support for the campaign in their respective constituencies back home.
He also urged them to come home and participate in the registration exercise to ensure that they could vote when the time came.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey assured the YEF that 'the ruling NDC has lost the power but we in the NPP have to continue to work hard to ensure that great victory comes our way, for the benefit of the people'.
The NPP leader is in London where, last Wednesday, he delivered the 2012 Oppenheimer Lecture on, 'The Growth of Democracy in Africa and the Arab Spring'.
He has since been engaged in other activities, including meetings with members of the NPP in the UK.
On Saturday, he travelled to Birmingham to attend a town hall meeting of NPP members in that city.