The Member of Parliament for Afigya Sekeyere West, and former Minister of Defense, Albert Kan Dapaah, has declared that Ã¢â‚¬Å“come August 7, when the election to the 2012 flag
bearer of the New Patriotic Party is held, I, Albert Kan Dapaah will vote for Nana Akufo-Addo because I wish the NPP wellÃ¢â‚¬Â.
He was speaking at the Community Centre at Manso Adobea in the Amansie West constituency, where Nana Akufo-Addo, who is contesting the August 7 nomination of the NPP, met with delegates to sell his message of hope to them and to convince them to return him to lead the party in the 2012 general elections.
Mr. Kan Dapaah’s endorsement, according to another MP, Isaac Asiamah, a parliamentary co-ordinator of Nana Akufo-Addo’s campaign, is one more confirmation that 30 out of the 36 NPP MPs in the Ashanti Region have thrown their weight behind Nana.
This has been explained by Dan Botwe, MP for Okere, as the truest testimony that the 115,000 people to vote on August 7 will be acting as delegates in the truest meaning of the term – by opting for the candidate that the majority of their constituents want rather than voting as free agents.
Mr. Kan Dapaah explained that his decision to give his vote for Nana was based on an objective calculation that Nana Akufo-Addo, who needed some 21,000 swing of votes in the 2008 run-off to beat Mills, is the party’s best chance for victory in 2012.
Boakye Agyarko, the national campaign coordinator for Nana Akufo-Addo, had earlier explained that while he was yet to meet any of the nearly 4.5 million who voted for Nana in 2008 saying they have regretted that decision, it is difficult to meet any of the 4.5 million who voted for Prof. JEA Mills admitting today to doing so in 2008.
Mr. Kan Dapaah also gave a personal testimony to Nana Akufo-Addo’s loyalty and service to the NPP. He said although Nana Akufo-Addo is Ã¢â‚¬Å“a personal friend of mine, my decision to support him is borne out of principle and conviction, and not because of our personal relation.”
He recalled how Nana Akufo-Addo came to his aid in 1994, when the then NDC government imprisoned him and Dr. Charles Wireko-Brobbey for setting up Radio Eye, Ghana’s first pirate station, which eventually opened the airwaves for independent FM stations.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nana volunteered to be our lawyer, and fought for our release,” he said, adding, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My friendship with Nana Akufo-Addo dates way back, but I will not vote for him because of our friendship, but because of the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s futureÃ¢â‚¬Â, he stressed.
He added that both in Parliament (from 1996 to 2009) and Government (from 2001 to 2007), “I worked closely with Nana Akufo-Addo and I can confidently speak about his public life and his competence. He is very qualified for the job as President of the Republic.”
“I remember how Nana Akufo-Addo mentored and encouraged me and my colleagues in our early days in Parliament, adding that Nana is both a teacher and politician.”
He also recounted NanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s efforts to develop young talents in the early days of the NPP, by forming the Thursday Club, which included members of the party, such as Cecelia Dapaah, Maj. Rtd. Courage Quashiga (the late), Baah Wiredu (the late), Christine Churcher, and Agyiri Blankson, among others.
“He used to teach us how to speak in public, in Parliament and what new ideas can help establish and position our party to win power. We met every Thursday. And, I can say in all humility that all of us who were handpicked by Nana to form that club went on to serve as senior public officials under President Kufuor.”
Mr Kan Dapaah advised the delegates to vote for the candidate who has a proven track record for mentoring youthful talents to excel.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nana has always looked out for young prospects and encouraged them to reach their full potentialÃ¢â‚¬Â, he added.
Mr Dapaah reinforced the fact that his decision is one of principle, by recalling that he did not support Nana when Nana challenged Kufuor in 1998.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In 1998, when Nana Akufo-Addo was contesting the flag bearer position of the NPP, he called me once to his house to solicit my support. I declined because I knew John Agyekum Kufuor had already been marketed and was the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s obvious and best choice for the 2000 elections.
“Today, I stand here asking you delegates, to vote for Nana Akufo-Addo because he is the candidate who is well marketed amongst the five.”
He stressed that “Nana has already been marketed, he got 49.8% of the votes, he lost narrowly” and Ã¢â‚¬Å“I believe anybody who means well for the NPP will vote to retain Nana as flag bearer and subsequently as President of Ghana.”
The Victory 2012 team then moved to Jacobu in the Odotobri constituency where Mr Kan Dappah, who followed the campaign team, reiterated his earlier comments at Juaso.