After speculations that the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Madam Hawa Yakubu, was going to vie for the Presidential slot, she has formally told newsmen in Tamale that she is going for the position of First National Chairperson.
Madam Hawa Yakubu, who has been dubbed as the 'Iron Lady' of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), made the declaration in an interview with newsmen at Tamale, after a very hectic tour of the various constituencies in the three northern regions. The vacuum created by the incumbent First National Vice Chairman, Mr. Stephen Ntim, who has decided to join the race for the National Chairmanship, needed to be filled quickly by someone who has the mettle, resilience and appetite for brokering peace and confusion and accommodating all opinions.
She said the outcome of the December, 2004 elections poses a great challenge to her and she has a very strong heart to accommodate and absorb all types of shocks whatever they may be.
"I am a self-made politician who has been in the political game for several years now and with the creation of the vacuum, I consider it as a golden opportunity for me to occupy the position of the First National Vice Chairperson, to be able to serve the party and for that matter the government," Madam Hawa stated.
On her vision for the party, Madam Hawa Yakubu reaffirmed her commitment and preparedness to team up with the other members of the National Executive to map out strategies to strengthen and improve the existing structures on the ground, right from the polling station to the constituency and regional levels.
According to her, the challenges of trust, honesty, dedication and the ability to raise sufficient funds for the running of the party are some of the biggest, and one would have to demonstrate his/her output in order to win the confidence of the people, particularly, the party faithful.
The former MP said if she is elected, she would throw herself into the job with her colleagues to galvanize the polling station and constituency executives, indicating that the active involvement of these people in the running of the party is of paramount importance.
"It is necessary to always appreciate the hard work of our party executives and to motivate them to continue to offer the needed support and to lead the party to victory in the December 2008 elections," she emphasized.
As a strong advocate for the welfare of the vulnerable and the physically challenged, and economic empowerment of women, she has been able to offer skills training and financial support to over 8,000 women in various activities and mentioned machines for shea butter extraction, soap and pomade making as well as batik and tie and dye production as some of the skills she had helped the women folk in the country to acquire.
In an answer to a question suggesting that the NDC was gaining grounds in its political campaign and was likely to wrestle power from the NPP in the December 2008 elections, and the alleged lack lustre performance of the NPP, the dynamic Hawa Yakubu said it was a wrong perception being propagated by the party's detractors.
She stressed that that is political talk and should not be taken seriously, adding that the opposition have nothing practical to offer.
Madam Hawa made it clear that the NPP administration, under the leadership of the President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has committed itself to implementing sound economic policies and programmes geared towards creating an enabling environment to improve the quality of life of the people and lift them from poverty and deprivation.
According to her, the unprecedented and tremendous development projects dotted all over the country are clear testimonies of what the government has been able to achieve under 'Positive Change Chapter One'.
She said the government has made huge investments in the construction of roads, the provision of educational infrastructure and quality health services for the people.
The former MP and one time Minister of State commended President Kufuor for demonstrating the high sense of political direction and commitment by making Ghana to be accorded International recognition.
"This is a man with credibility who has worked tirelessly to bring honour and glory to Ghana and therefore deserves to preside over the affairs of the country," the 'Iron Lady' stated.
On her relations with the Vice President, Madam Hawa Yakubu said she has nothing against the Vice President indicating that soon after the inauguration of Positive Change Chapter One, she personally hailed the appointment of Alhaji Aliu Mahama as the Vice President.
According to her, she does not only hold the Vice President in high esteem, but accords him the respect that he deserves as a brother and the number two man in the country.
As she puts it "This is a brother who has equaled himself to the task of assisting the President in the running of the administration of the country. In fact, I admire his performance both nationally and internationally."
The former MP made it abundantly clear that her relationship with the Vice President is cordial, but was however quick to add that, there are people who are peddling rumours that there is a bone of contention between them.
According to her, opportunists, who have nothing practical to offer the party but only tell lies about others to gain favours, have surrounded the Vice President.
Madam Hawa, who was happy about the responses she got from the three northern regions, said it was more than encouraging, and expressed optimism that all things being equal, she was hopeful of capturing the seat of the First National Vice Chairperson.