A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwamena Bartels says Nana Akufo-Addo is the party’s sure bet for victory in the 2016 polls.
Mr Bartels, a former Interior Minister under the previous Kufour administration said, ‘Nana is the most popular person within and outside the NPP, there is no one who is widely accepted and recognized than Nana Akufo-Addo…he has already gained acceptability.’
‘2016 is NPP’s opportunity to take back power and the best person to do that for us is Nana,’ he noted.
‘He attracts most sympathy votes; like Mills he has done it two times already and I believe he is going to win the third time,’ he said in an interview with DAILY GUIDE over the weekend.
This, according to Bartels, was because ‘a lot of people look at him and say he is done his best for the party and we believe he should be given the chance to show what he is capable of.’
Mr. Bartels, who touted Akufo-Addo’s credentials, explained that ‘I worked with him for seven years in government and I know the quality of contributions that he made in cabinet and I can say he has no equal among those contesting for the position.’
Mr Bartels, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma North said, ‘His education and all the experience he’s gained in politics has actually prepared him for the arduous task.
According to him, ‘I am not surprised that he was nominated the most influential personality for 2013 when we have a President in this country, anybody else who is contesting him should realistically be looking at 2020 to build the kind of popularity, exposure and acceptability that Nana already has.’
‘The question that I ask is what does the NDC know about the others that we don’t know?’ he quizzed.
‘As for Nana, a lot has been said about him over the last eight years and these things still didn’t wash; the people still accepted him in spite of all the vituperations that people have poured on him.’
Mr Bartels indicated that ‘Nana is incorruptible; nobody has been able to pin any element of corruption on him and that is the kind of person who we need for 2017 and beyond to correct and ensure that this nation is driven by leaders who are able to stand above corruption.’
He denied claims by some of the aspiring flagbearers that Akufo-Addo does not appeal to floating voters.
He said ‘in fact, Nana is the one who has been able to prove his attraction to floating voters than anybody else.’
‘The people who are claiming attraction to floating voters have never participated in public external elections out of the NPP before.’
‘So on what basis are you able to prove that you can attract floating voters?’ he quizzed.
‘I would have loved the situation whereby all the others would have agreed to support Nana for the sake of unity within the party; there is no way anybody is going to beat Nana at the primaries. And if you know you are going to lose, why do you waste time to engender factionalism in the party when you know you are definitely going to lose.’
‘I believe it would have been in the interest of the party and the nation if all of them had decided to support Nana this time round,’ he emphasized.
‘But of course it’s a democratic party and everybody has a right to contest or not to contest and we should allow them and respect that right.’
He also dismissed claims that Akufo-Addo was old for the job, saying ‘I know him very well and I’m telling you the man is sharper than the young people; mentally and physiologically and already the performance of John Dramani Mahama who was touted as the youth, modern man, post-independence person has shown that it is important for us to go in for maturity, experience and level-headedness and that is being presented by Nana.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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