Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey Speaking at the campaign launch for Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2016 presidential bid
The support for the flagbearership bid of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is gathering momentum as not less than 100 Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) have thrown their weight behind him.
According to Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, MP for Anyaa-Sowutuom, Nana Akufo-Addo remains the man who is well known and accepted by the NPP grassroots and that any attempt to change him would see the NPP losing the 2016 general elections.
Speaking at the campaign launch for Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2016 presidential bid at Tottenham’s Chestnut Community Arts Centre in North London on Sunday, the MP, who was deputy minister of Foreign Affairs in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, said out of the 122 NPP MPs, she could confidently say that ‘Nana Addo can count on the support of about 100 of us.’
She said the MPs were solidly behind Nana Akufo-Addo because, ‘Everywhere we go in our various constituencies the people tell us, ‘if you don’t bring Nana Addo we will not vote.’ The people love him and they believe in him. Even those who admit to not voting for him are now saying they regret that decision and want us to bring him back,’ she underscored.
The Akufo-Addo 2016 campaign launch is the first of its kind by supporters of the 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP who is lacing his boots to lead the party for the next elections – after two unsuccessful attempts to clinch victory for the party.
The group called for a grassroots campaign for Nana Akufo-Addo, not only for the forthcoming NPP congress, but also towards Election 2016. They charged supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo to be positive and decorous in their speeches and emulate the clear example of the man they are campaigning for.
Ms Botchwey said, ‘I was the happiest deputy minister because I worked under the best minister. Nana is a professional. He has vision. And, I can tell you, he has never been corrupt; he is not corrupt, and he will not be corrupted.’
She noted that Nana remains the most viable candidate who can champion the vision of the NPP in any future administration.
She recounted Nana’s sojourn in UK for six months after the Supreme Court verdict and how UK helped to prepare him for the March 20th Declaration.
The MP for Abuakwa South who succeeded Nana Addo, Samuel Atta-Akyea, reaffirmed the need for the NPP to retain Nana Akufo-Addo as the flagbearer for 2016.
He said, ‘Nana Akufo-Addo has served Ghana for over 36 years in frontline politics because he is determined to leave a legacy that can change the destiny of the people.
‘He was privileged enough to have education, because his father could afford it. He wants every Ghanaian child to have what he had. He wants to transform Ghana’s economy because his focus is on the next generation and not just the next election. Nana remains in politics not for personal gains but because he has something big to offer to Ghana. Ghanaians must give him the chance to deliver for us.’
According to Atta Akyea, Nana Akufo-Addo, did not lose the 2012 elections and for that matter, it would be suicidal for the NPP to change him as the flagbearer for 2016, especially since the NDC’s second term ends in 2016.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, formerly of the Danquah Institute, and now a consultant based in London, lamented the poor state of Ghana’s economy and showed, with statistics, the amount of revenue that had been at the disposal of the NDC, yet with very little to show for all that.
He said the NDC, from 2009 to 2013, spent, besides the billions of dollars of loans, GH¢83 billion, as compared to the GH¢31 billion President J A Kufuor spent in eight years.
Gabby added that by the time the NPP left office in January 2009, if the total debt of the country were to be shared, every citizen would owe GH¢423. By February 2014, that amount had increased nearly five times to GH¢2,255.
He said, Ghanaians are looking to the NPP for inspiration and the party could not fail to respond to that call.
On the bloated voters’ register he noted, ‘You can’t have a country with a median age of 20.8 having a voters’ register with more than 56% of the population on it.’
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP for Ablekuma West, thanked NPP-UK for the initiative in starting the campaign and pleaded to the supporters there to keep the fire burning in the bid to make Nana Akufo-Addo the flagbearer and President of Ghana in 2017.
The Akufo-Addo for 2016 Campaign Group is made up of well-meaning Ghanaians in the UK, drawn from a wide section of the community including business people, ordinary members of NPP-UK, the media, The Aljazeera Ladies and community groups.
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