Filing of nominations by the Convention People's Party (CPP)presidential aspirants ended at the party's headquarters in Accra yesterday.
At the close of nominations, six of the presidential aspirants had filed their papers.They were a former Public Sector Reform Minister, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, Dr Kweku Osafo, Bright Akwetey, Mr George Oposika Aggudey and Dr F W K Akuffo, a Tema-based private medial paractitioner.
Dr Nduom was the first to file his papers and was ushered into the party's headquarters without the usual ostentatious display by T-shirt and other paraphernalia wearing supporters drumming and dancing to brass band music.
Just as he was about to deliver his documents and pay his GH¢10,000 (¢100 million) filing fee to the party executive, a few of his supporters, made up of young men, entered the hall and started singing victory songs.
Addressing the press just after filing his papers, he said low inflation and interest rates were of no use if the people did not register any improvement in their living standards.
Promising to make the fight against poverty his priority if given the mandate as the President of Ghana, he said he wanted the people to be their own judges by measuring the improvement they would see in their lives within the first four years of his government.
Dr Nduom, who was a minister under the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) government, said the CPP had enough men and women who could play leading roles to turn the fortunes of the country around.
According to him, since 2001 many of such leading members of the Nkrumaist family had been given the opportunity to prove their worth by being appointed by the NPP government to responsible positions in the country.
These included Mr Kwesi Armah, District Chief Executive; Prof George Hagan, Chairman of National Commission of Culture and Chairman of the Board of Electricity Company of Ghana; Mr Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister; Mr Kabral Blay Amihere, Ambassador to Cote d'Iviore; the late Kwesi Armah and Hajia Adisa Munkaila, members of the Council of State and Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa, immediate past Director General of the Ghana Health Services.
He added that Mr Freddie Blay, the CPP Member of Parliament for Elembelle, was supported by the NPP to become the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Mallam Yusif Issah, a Minister, while on the international front, Dr Kwaku Osafo, another CPP presidential aspirant, had offered development projects to a lot of Ghanaians through his work with the European Union.
Dr Nduom said the current CPP was different from the one which performed abysmally in the 2000 and 2004 elections, adding that “ our people who went to help the NDC and the NPP to win power are back home to help their own party to win power. “Those who went to sleep are awake”.
He expressed optimism that he would win the race because the CPP delegates knew about his contribution to the sustenance and development of the party over the years to help keep the flame of the CPP alive.
He called on his colleagues in the race as well as those vying for national executive positions, to avoid negative campaigning.
He said under his administration, the size of the government would be slim and efficient and would also ensure that Parliament and the Judiciary were strengthened.
“I stand to strengthen our fight against corruption by proposing to separate the Ministry of Justice from the Office of the Attorney General to create an office of the independent prosecutor, free from the influence of politicians,” Dr Nduom said.
He said he was aware that winning the 2008 election would not be easy, but with hard work, serious organisational work, especially getting close to the electorate, the CPP that had lived in the Flagstaff House in the 1960s would live at the Flagstaff House again come January 2009.”
The incumbent chairman of the CPP, Dr Edmund N. Delle, also filed to contest the chairmanship of the party.
Story by Donald Ato Dapatem