Let’s Develop Strong Kufuor Legacy for 2008 — Akufo-Addo
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has stated that his main focus now is to help the party to build what he called "a Kufuor legacy for 2008".
He, therefore, urged all true members of the Danquah-Busia tradition to aim at doing the same to enhance the fortunes of the party in the 2008 elections and beyond.
Reacting to calls on him to make his voice heard on the issue of the next presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, reminded all that "we need to harness the commitment, dedication and energy of scores and hundreds and thousands of genuine party workers so that with hardwork and the strong showing of the Kufuor government, we shall, God willing, score a hat-trick of victories in December, 2008".
This he said, would "allow us the opportunity to continue with the building of our project of providing good leadership in order to bring prosperity, freedom and dignity to the lives of our people".
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the most effective foundation for a successful tilt at the presidency by an NPP candidate in 2008, would depend on the good performance of the Kufuor government between now and then, saying that if the government delivers on its promise of improving the social and economic conditions of the mass of our people, which it can, the work of the candidate would be considerably lightened.
Nana Akufo-Addo assured all party faithful that "the NPP spirit was very much abroad and alive, noting that despite the disappointment that several faithful, hardworking party activists had suffered since the party came to power, the concern across the length and breadth of the party for the health of the NPP project remains very deep, adding that "this was a source of great strength for our movement".
Nana Akufo-Addo, who contested the flagbearership of the party in 1998 noted that it had become obvious that the NPP project, which centred on the development of our society in freedom, was the only project in town as there was no credible alternative.
He claimed that the prospect of a Rawlings-controlled NDC coming back to power did not appeal to the broad masses of the people and God willing, this would not happen.
"Secondly, the President and his government continue to be fully focussed on the goal of national transformation, which we promised the Ghanaian people we would achieve. Self-serving attacks from political quarters that had lost all credibility would not divert us", he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that he was aware of and shared the anxiety of many supporters of the party about the succession issue in 2008, adding that "indeed, I know that in certain party circles, it has become an obsession, one which, it is now clear, the party needs to manage if it is not to undermine the coercion of our effort of our main task of ensuring the success of the government under the leadership of the President".
He expressed the hope that very soon, the party would define the guidelines of the competition for future leadership and that he would act within them as he trusted others also would do the same.
"This is the first time in the history of our noble tradition that we are confronted with this problem of organising in power an orderly succession to our leadership, and thus to the leadership of the nation, and we need to get it right", he stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo conceded the NPP appeared to be passing through stormy waters, but explained that it was the duty of those of them on board in those circumstances to rally around the captain and assist him to steer the ship to shore.
"Unity, discipline and loyalty have to be our watchword if we are not to go down with the ship. It is time for all hands to be on deck so that we can steady the ship and bring it home safely to port"' he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo observed that the party's present difficulty had been extended by the campaign of baseless allegations levelled against the integrity of the President over the hotel purchased by his son, which was part of the clearly orchestrated chorus of corruption that the opposition was using as its main tool to undermine the government.
He mentioned other number of problems that the party was experiencing since it won the historic elections of 2000, adding that "it began early in the second term, with the decision of the President, with the full support of his entire Cabinet, to order a 50 per cent rise in the price of petroleum products".
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that none of the members of cabinet was under any illusion about the difficulties this decision would entail for the lives of ordinary people and also for the party's political fortunes.
"We felt then, and still feel that the decision was necessary in the nation, even if painful. We would abdicate the responsibility of government if the only aim of policy was constant popularity", he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo reminded the party faithful that the most important test of popularity of the party would take place in December 2008, "three-and-a-half years away, when the Ghanaian people give their verdict on the whole of the record of our second term, not on a particular item or phase of it".