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10.04.2006 General News

Only weak Presidents keep erring appointees

By Kwabena Amankwah/Statesman

Arthur Kennedy launches Presidential campaign Cape Coast -- The US based and Assin-born NPP Presidential hopeful, Arthur Kobina Kennedy, Thursday held a press conference to launch his campaign for the NPP 2008 presidential slot, with the assurance that if he gets the slot and eventually becomes the President of Ghana he would not “protect” his functionaries when they go wayward.

He added that “it is only weak Presidents who lack the political will to fire their appointees when their actions fail to conform to his vision”, stressing that his presidency would not sacrifice the national interest on the altar of protecting political cronies.

The campaign launch, at the climax of a two-day tour of the constituencies in the region to interact with party faithful and further sell his vision to them, took place at the Central Regional Secretariat of the NPP and was attended by constituency and regional executives of the party.

Dr Arthur Kennedy further gave the assurance that he would put in place effective measures to check corruption to ensure that the nation's resources are used in the best interest of the masses. This he said would be done through the appointment of “honest people” to positions in his government, holding his appointees accountable and strengthening the capacities of anti-corruption agencies such as CHRAJ and SFO.

“I will seek to build and strengthen institutions throughout our nation. When elected, I will assemble a government that looks like our nation and has more women in positions of responsibility than at any time in our history. My government will honour our values and lead us into the future. I will make our nation proud. That government will set a standard in good and responsive governance for our continent, not just for our age but for the ages,” he added.

On plans to tackle the problem of unemployment and a perceived lack of money in peoples' pockets, the NPP presidential hopeful finds the solution in what he calls “Operation Clean Our Environment Campaign” and “Customs and Excise Acceleration Campaign.”

“To put our people to work, I have an emergency plan and a long-term plan. Immediately, let us embark on 'Operation Clean Our Environment Campaign' that will employ thousands of unemployed youth to clean our dirty environment and help prevent people from littering our environment with trash”, he explained.

“Another emergency measure,” he continued, “will be the 'Customs and Excise Acceleration Campaign' that will increase the staff of our Customs and Excise Department by 20 percent and cutting the waiting period for clearing goods from our ports for import or export by 30 pay and pay for it through increased revenue from our port.”

His long-term plan to fight unemployment and poverty is through improved agricultural activities. “To boost this sector we must build rural infrastructure such as Busia sought to do; provide storage facilities so that what our people produce will not rot in the field; make the necessary resource commitment for the irrigation of farmlands; make the necessary fundamental reforms to our economy so that there will be widespread access to credit for farmers and other entrepreneurs; and seek to open access to markets both in Africa and elsewhere by reforming our import and export system,” he added. Dr Arthur Kennedy also assured the party's activists that he would seek ways to recognise their contributions to the cause of the party, adding “if our government and party does not pay attention to our foot soldiers, we are in danger of losing our majority in Parliament and, maybe, the presidency.”

He promised a decent campaign that will be based on “ideas and principles instead of insults and personalities. It will seek to lift the nation's sight and spirit and move us to higher grounds. It will be about the true aspirations of the ordinary people rather than the ambitions of politicians.”