Nana Akufo-Addo addressing the media yesterday
It was a moment of ecstasy for the numerous and anxious New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters who had thronged the Nima residence of the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who declared his long-awaited intention yesterday to run for the party’s flagbearership race when nominations open.
At 70, the twice-defeated Nana Akufo-Addo believes he does not only have what it takes to lead his party to the 2016 general elections, but can as well wrest power from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He took solace in the fact that he chose two careers with no retirement age – law and politics. ‘I thank the Almighty I am able to say that I feel spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and patriotically strong enough to remain in the hurly burly of frontline politics.’
Not long thereafter, he declared, ‘With great humility, therefore, I can announce that when the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready, God willing, to contest for the position of NPP presidential candidate for the 2016 general elections.’
Nana Addo said when he addressed a well-attended press conference yesterday, ‘We have unfinished business. And, I am ready to get back to work.’
This sent the crowd agog amidst wild jubilation, applause and chants of ‘Nana! Nana! Nana! is a winner.’
Rebecca, Nana Addo, Bawumia and Samira
In spite of all the disappointments of the last few years, Nana Addo said, ‘I cannot ignore these calls, especially when, among those urging me to run are those who admit to supporting my opponents in previous contests, whether within the NPP or in national elections.’
Apart from asking God for his guidance, Nana Addo told the packed house, ‘I thought about the battles we as a people have fought to get us to where we are today in a nation governed by a Constitution.
‘I thought of the many people with whom I have been in some of these battles and the loyalty and hard work that we came to take for granted from one another.’
He talked of the hardly fought 2008 and 2012 elections, which he was privileged to lead the party to fight and how fortunate he was to have been blessed with his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, whom he described as a ‘brilliant economist’, saying ‘I have been humbled by the loyalty, the confidence and trust that millions of Ghanaians gave to me.’
He continued, ‘I thought about the huge disappointment that our loss brought to us all. I thought about the passing of time and the fact that I shall be 70 years old in a few days time. I have asked hard questions of myself and of my body and I have taken the opportunity to see my doctors -both here in Ghana and in the United Kingdom. I examined my commitment and the fire that burns in my belly with the desire to lead Ghana.’
http://www.dailyguideghana.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/jake.jpg Nana charged the rank and file of the party to focus on successful process to choose national officers on April 12 in Tamale and make the party buoyant and healthy to ‘make it more and more attractive to the many disillusioned Ghanaians out there looking for a credible alternative to the NDC.’
He said, ‘Let us protect the dignity of the NPP in all that we do or say. We do not have to compete with the government in attracting negative publicity to ourselves. They are quite capable of managing that on their own with their incompetence,’ he stated.
He asserted, ‘There is one principle that I wish to see guiding the way we do things in the NPP. We must have mutual respect,’ drawing inspiration from Governor Ronald Reagan’s dictum: ‘Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.’
Nana Addo took a cursory look at events that happened during the 2012 general elections, indicating that ‘in many of the places that we were supposed to have lost, the gap between our votes and that of the NDC was abnormally high.’
For this, he said, ‘It is our duty, therefore, to close that gap and we intend to do so by two means.’
First, he noted, ‘We intend to win the votes of the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and, second, we shall protect those votes at every level to the point of declaration’ since, ‘I have no desire to lead the NPP into another election petition in 2016.’
‘I certainly do not want to take election grievances to the streets either. I prefer we begin today to do the things that would greatly diminish any potential need to go to court’, he emphasized.
‘We want an election in which the results would be beyond dispute and would be accepted by all; that means we must secure the reforms that are necessary to enhance the integrity of the electoral system and the people who work for the system, the electoral officers.’
He equally decried the level of corruption in the country today which he said had led to economic hardships, falling standards in education, inefficient public service system, joblessness, especially amongst the youth, and insecurity.
‘The current economic difficulties call for efficient and honest management of public resources and projects. Much of the difficulties facing the country today can be traced to widespread corruption and the apparent inability on the part of the current leadership to fight corruption,’ he stated.
According to Nana Addo, ‘What Ghana needs is a government that makes the issue of giving value for money the underlining principle for managing public funds. We need that to develop greater confidence in the economy.’
He underscored, ‘This is the driving force of my life. I will stay true to what I believe in, no matter the pressures to do what is convenient. I am clear and convinced about the direction in which we must go as a country. I have been consistent on this because I believe in it. I am convinced Ghana can do better than this current state of affairs. And, I believe we can make the change that will make us better than this.’
Present were key and influential members of the NPP, including the National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey; former Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Hackman Owusu Agyemang; former Interior Minister, Kwamena Bartels; former Second Deputy Speaker, Prof Mike Oquaye; former Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh IC Quaye; former Minister of State for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Cecilia Abena Dapaah; MPs and a host of other big wigs of the party.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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