The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will begin his 2012 campaign Friday, July 1, 2011, starting from the party’s stronghold, Ashanti Region.
The flagbearer of the NPP will be accompanied on his community-based campaign by a small team of people, including his Campaign Manager, a Regional Officer and his Press Secretary.
This will be his sixth nationwide tour since 2009, but expected to be by far the most intimate interaction with the general populace since losing the 2008 presidential run-off by the slimmest of margins.
Dubbed the ‘Listening Campaign’, the 153-day campaign tour will see the NPP flagbearer interacting with communities nationwide, listening to their concerns, aspirations and expectations, and offering them hope for a brighter future.
According to the 2012 Campaign Manager for the NPP, Boakye Agyarko, “these visits and meeting with communities is for the candidate to have a first hand intimate appreciation of the situation on the ground before the party comes out next year with its programme for transformation,” (manifesto) in 2012, which the campaign Manager says will “introduce a comprehensive plan to transform the economy and, on the social front, to create a new society of opportunities for all.”
He adds, “There is always the risk to overlook the little things that matter to the ordinary Ghanaian and communities in putting together a party manifesto. This tour will grant the candidate a first-hand opportunity to make sure that our plans, programmes and policies are not just about the big things but the small and important things, as well.”
The tour will also give a greater number of Ghanaians across the country an opportunity to meet the NPP Presidential Candidate. The format of this ‘Listening Campaign’, according to information available to the New Statesman, shuns big rallies. “There is no room for big rallies,” a source at the party headquarters told the New Statesman. “We want Ghanaians to feel our candidate and we want our candidate to feel them even more,” the source added.
Beginning in the farming communities of the Ashanti Region, the NPP Presidential Candidate will spend a total of 30 days in the region with the largest number of constituencies in the country. This will be followed by twenty days each in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions, as exclusively revealed by the New Statesman last week.
After the Greater Accra Region, Nana Addo will move on to the Central, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions, where he will spend a total of 48 days.
The five-month ‘Listening Campaign’ will end in the Volta Region, where the candidate will stay for seven days, after spending 15 days in the Northern Region and, before that, two weeks in the Upper West and Upper East Regions.
Since suffering defeat in the 2008 general elections, the NPP has been busy rebuilding and reorganizing itself in a bid to recapture power in 2012. It started with the Constitutional Amendment Conference of the Party in August 2009.
As Nana Addo pointed out in his recent speech at the party’s international conference in Germany, “This is what led to the historic expansion of the delegates list that saw the participation of some 107,000 people in the choice of our presidential candidate for the 2012 election.”
He added, “Likewise, on the average, four times as many people as before participated in the just concluded choice of our parliamentary candidates in an exercise that has won the admiration of the nation, and even beyond, including visiting members of the CDU, Germany’s ruling party, who observed the elections.”
In terms of the campaign, the NPP flagbearer put it this way, “The grassroots have been responsible for the choice of our candidates, presidential and parliamentary, and the grassroots will be responsible for our victory in 2012.”
He explained: “The process of reflection, undertaken in humility and sincerity, but also with courage, led to the decision to expand dramatically the electoral colleges of the Party for the selection of party executives and parliamentary and presidential candidates.”
He said the decision to include the grassroots “has given a strong sense of ownership to the grassroots of the Party, facilitating and galvanising political mobilisation.”
The process of rebuilding has seen the NPP, since October 2009, restructuring its organisation from the selection of its executives at the basic units of the polling station level, through the selection of the newly created level of electoral area coordinators, the constituency executives, the regional executives through to the national executives. According to Nana Addo, “It is a process that saw the election of the most ethnically and regionally balanced national executive of any political party in Ghana, to make the point that we are, indeed, the national party of Ghana. We now stand on the threshold of the third and most critical aspect of the theme- RECAPTURE.”
The ‘Listening Campaign’ is seen as the first major step, prior to election year, 2012, in the efforts of the main opposition party to recapture power.
Nana Akufo-Addo lost the 2008 election to President JEA Mills in a photo finish of 0.46% of the popular vote in a run-off. The period of time spent in each constituency on the 2012 campaign has been calculated to reflect where the campaign team seeks to focus more of its energy and resources, according to inner sources.
Source: The New Statesman
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