A CONTENDER for the position of National Vice Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party, Amadu Kaleem, has stated that the NPP means business and that the next group of leaders will show more “gut, strength, care and creativity” to neutralise opposition propaganda and see to the needs of party activists and foot soldiers.
He said, for instance, he cannot understand why “the news that NPP even in power is allowing all the major contracts to go to National Democratic Congress business people should be used by that same NDC as a stick to lash out at government. This kind of frail old lady approach in the face of NDC lies must change. Our great party has no reason to be put under pressure by the NDC. We are performing far, far greater than they could ever dream of.
“Part of our immediate task as the new executive after the December 17 elections is to bring back the feel-good factor to our supporters. The other is to clearly define the relationship between the party and its offspring, the government. The third is to build up the party structures and begin to seriously address the collective and individual needs of our loyalists.” Speaking exclusively to The Statesman yesterday, Alhaji Kaleem, said: “The ultimate task is to win the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. We should drive it home to every Ghanaian, north and south, east and west, that there is no alternative to the NPP. The destiny of this tortured land; the future of our beautiful children and the growing economy of Ghana cannot be gambled away over lies, lies and lies.”
He said Ghanaians should be “told and told and told that the NDC manifesto for 2008 is simply to make the NPP unpopular with lies, lies and lies. We should ask ourselves why. It is because they have nothing else to offer.”
Alhaji Kaleem, popularly known as “Business”, said: “Since 1992 when I became one of the first ten people in the north to declare their support for the New Patriotic Party and in fact went ahead singularly to declare my assets so that it could be registered as a political party, I have consistently made my business the NPP and the NPP my business.”
Alhaji Kaleem, 56, was a member of Dr Busia's Progress Party and the leader of the Youth Wing of Victor Owusu's Popular Front Party in the Northern Region. He was the NPP candidate for Kumbungu in the 1992 parliamentaries, which his party eventually boycotted. “I again braved the odds to campaign for the party in 1996 as its Kumbungu candidate,” he said.
“I believe the NPP has what it takes to gain the ascendancy in the three northern regions. But, it requires a leadership that is not afraid to meet the NDC head-on and expose them for what they are. It needs leaders who are not afraid to say to the people that this government has achieved in less than five years, what Rawlings and his cronies struggled to even dream about in 19 years. It needs leaders who can, not only connect with the grassroots, but who can provide the supporters with the resources to strengthen the party and their own individual lives.
“So many of us have struggled for this party for years without relent. Such loyalists need to be assured that their sacrifices didn't go unnoticed. We must have the courage to reward loyalty and commitment to the party. We must empower our party activists and foot soldiers. We must renew and rejuvenate the NPP – the only party with a plan for Ghana.”