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09.11.2003 General News

Former NDC Deputy Minister defects to NPP

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Abetifi (E/R), Nov. 9, GNA - A former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries in the Rawlings administration, Mr Peter Wiafe Pepera, has announced his defection from the NDC to "rejoin" the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Announcing this at a news conference at Abetifi on Saturday, he explained that even though he left politics in 2001, he decided to quit the NDC earlier this year, "principally due to the lack of internal democracy in the party of which we are all increasingly aware."

Mr Pepera stated that he could not say everything the NDC government did was wrong, saying "some of its policies were good" such as the rural electrification, water supply and feeder roads projects. He, however, said "the policies were, in fact, borrowed from Professor Busia's policies started 35 years ago, but were cruelly curtailed through military intervention," adding that "the NPP which hails from the Danquah-Busia tradition that started those policies definitely does a better job of implementing those policies."

Mr Pepera, who is the Kumasi-based Managing Director of the Paramount Distilleries Company, stated, "another attraction of the NPP to me is the commitment to free enterprise private sector development and poverty eradication."

He said if the policies were allowed to continue, they would yield positive benefits to the people and called on all citizens to help make the Golden Age of Business succeed, while pledging to help the NPP administration to make Ghana "our beloved country, the Singapore of West Africa."

Mr Pepera, who made it clear that he had not been offered any post for his decision, wished Professor Atta Mills (NDC flag bearer) well, "as I still believe he is a good man but the problem is the party." Answering questions from newsmen, he said he agreed to take up appointment under the NDC administration as a "national service" as he was invited to help uplift private business and ensure that Ghanaian goods got access to the international market instead of being flooded only with shoddy goods imports.

According to Mr Pepera, during his two-year tenure of duty he was "not comfortable but I tried my best to stay despite the obstacles." He rejected any notion that he was defecting because the NDC was out of power, saying, "If even they win back power, I will still not go back because the internal problems will still be there."

Mr Pepera commended the NPP for being "a strong and democratic party" because it was able to withstand two successive electoral defeats but was still able to win power from an incumbent party.

He also lauded the government for its good economic management that had made the currency strong and policies that were creating wealth for the people such as the five-fold increase in cocoa producer price in two and half years, saying this would no doubt, make the electorate continue to vote for the party.

Mr Pepera who announced a donation of four pick-up vehicles by his family to be distributed among the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern Regional NPP secretariats as well as the Abetifi constituency, also presented a mobile phone to the constituency secretariat at the ceremony.

Both the Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Nana Adi Ankamah and Kwahu South District Chief Executive, Mr Raymond Osafo Gyan who welcomed Mr Pepera "back home", urged members of the party to open their arms to receive more of such people who want to join the party to enable it win the next elections.

In another development, Mr Yaw Boateng, a trustee of the Kwahu Tafo branch of the NDC also announced his defection to the NPP at the function.

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