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20.08.2005 Politics

Welfare Of Constituents My Priority-Mankattah

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THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate for the forthcoming by-election at Odododiodoo, Mr Asafoatse Nii Kojo Mankattah, has stated that his priority is to seek the welfare of the people in the area and therefore urged the electorate to come out in their numbers to vote for him.

According to him, some of the programmes he had drawn up for the upliftment of the image of the area, as well as to improve the lot of the people, have started manifesting even before the August 30 election. He also promised to continue with all that his late father started.

Speaking with so much optimism in an interview in Accra,the NPP candidate said “get to the grounds and ask the people who are the witneses, you can witness it yourself, even before the declaration of the results, development have started in some parts of the area, and these would be accelerated and expanded when I enter the Parliament.

Graders have started working on the roads while street lights are lighting up the place in the evenings,” He listed his priority areas to be health, education, economic empowerment and infrastructural development sports and employment, adding that “these are the long term and achievable plans which enjoy, the support of many well wishers, business concerns and officialdom."

For the health sector, he disclosed that a group, mostly captains of industry and some Ghanaians living abroad, called 'Friends of Mankattah', have earmarked over ¢100 million for a programme dubbed 'Health Insurance Support Scheme' to register people in the area for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr Mankattah who stated that these plans were not campaign gimmick, said people have already been dispatched to organise, and depending on how fast the people were organised, the amount would be disbursed before the August 30 election to ensure that more people, especially those who could not afford the premium derived maximum benefits from the scheme.

Touching on education, he said he would establish a scholarship scheme to ensure that more children from the area benefited from secondary education, while at the tertiary level the scheme would cater for brilliant but needy students.

He commended the government for the fee-free policy for basic schools which he said would make NGOs, philanthropists and MPs shift their support from the basic level to support students at the secondary and the tertiary levels.

Mr Mankattah said skill training, employment creation and the provision of soft loans for people in small businesses would also be pursued adding that he would mobilise the people into co-operative to secure soft loans.

He commended the NPP government for plans to modernise the James Town shore to facilitate fishing.

Commenting on his choice by the NPP as the candidate, Mr Mankattah said, it was like a prodigal son coming back home, adding that his late father who won on the ticket of the NDC, was until Election 2000, a staunch member of the NPP and an ardent believer in the UP tradition.

He said his late father left the NPP because of some misunderstanding, therefore, “getting back the support of my family and going back to the NPP was necessary.

It was not only that reason, but my leadership qualities to lead the people in this crucial elections also featured prominently .”

He noted that although equally qualified party members expressed interest in the position, the top brass of the NPP came to a consensus with those who expressed interests to agree on his candidature.

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