A flag-bearer aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has vowed to win the 2016 Presidential Election if he is given the mandate to represent the party for the third time.
“I am the party’s best bet to winning power in 2016,” Akufo-Addo declared at Akoto Lante in the Odododiodio constituency in Greater Accra, where he launched his campaign on Tuesday.
In a speech delivered to teeming supporters, Akufo-Addo, who contested and lost the Presidential Elections of 2008 and 2012, sought to dispel media reports that he was unfit to contest another election.
The reports had alleged that doctors had advised him (Akufo-Addo) not to contest the 2016 election, but the 70-year-old former Foreign Affairs Minister described them as “propaganda”.
“My body is in good shape. My mind remains as sharp as it ever was,” he said, adding: "The competitive fire still burns in my belly… I am fit and ready and my appetite is keen as ever to go to battle for the cause of the NPP.”
“I want to assure all of you gathered here that contrary to the propaganda out there, Nana Akufo-Addo is emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, physically, patriotically and spiritually strong enough to lead this party and our dear nation, Ghana,” he emphasised.
Akufo-Addo announced plans to embark on a nationwide campaign to “plead” with delegates of the party to elect him as the NPP’s Presidential Candidate for a third straight time, pledging to run what he called a “clean” campaign.
He went on to accuse the National Democratic Party (NDC) administration of President John Dramani Mahama of eroding the economic gains that were made during the NPP administration of Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor.
He said the Mahama administration had wreaked “havoc on the populace and the nation”, pointing to the depreciation of the Ghana cedi against major international currencies, rising unemployment and challenges confronting the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS).
Describing President Mahama as “clueless”, Akufo-Addo said Ghanaians had lost confidence in his ability and that of the NDC to govern.
He said widespread corruption, reckless spending in the lead up to the 2012 General Elections and the payment of millions of cedis in what he described as "dubious judgement debts" had combined to inflict the current economic difficulties on Ghanaians.
Akufo-Addo said: “There can be no better Ghana when higher taxes, high utility prices, high fuel prices, low sales are killing businesses up and down the country.
“There can no better Ghana so long as the NDC remains in office. There can be no better Ghana with the current clueless and uncaring leadership.
“The hole this country is in is as a result of the desperation of the NDC government to win the 2012 elections at all cost. The reckless overspending which resulted in the budget deficit of GH¢8.7 billion, representing 12.1 per cent of GDP, the widespread corruption and the payment of millions and millions of Ghana cedis of our money in dubious judgement debt.”
“The soul of our nation is in pain. Our nation is in pain.
International community is puzzled – ‘How did Ghana get itself into this mess within such a short period?’ - Investors are worried.
Parents are in tears. Children fear for their future. Worker are worried and unhappy,” he added.
Positioning himself as the man to reverse the current economic declines, Akufo-Addo spoke of putting together a “competent and dynamic team with a programme for determined implementation" under his decisive leadership and clear vision for Ghana’s future.
“We will put Ghana back to work. We will stabilise the cedi,” he pledged.
Akufo-Addo called on his fellow party members to ensure that the upcoming NPP presidential primary does not undermine unity within the party, stressing that the party’s focus should be on the failures of President John Mahama.
“The people of Ghana are looking on us to restore hope and offer the kind of purposeful leadership that will speed up the development of the nation and the prosperity of all Ghanaians.
“We shall restore hope and make Ghana work again and bring back the smiles on the faces of our people. The Black Star will shine again.
“To the people of Ghana, I say keep hope alive. I believe in Ghana. Above all, I believe in God. Change will come in 2016,” he stated.
The launch at Akoto Lante marked the beginning of Akufo-Addo's nationwide tour to campaign to for the flag-bearer position of the NPP.
Dubbed: “Going back to my roots,” the venue for the event was Akwei's House, the historical meeting ground of the United Party (the Danquah-Dombo-Busia family), not far from Betty House, Swalaba, where Akufo-Addo was born.
Akufo-Addo met with all 34 NPP constituency chairpersons in the Greater Accra Region as well as other constituency executive members and the NPP Members of Parliament in the region.
Source: Daily Graphic
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