The 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has asked party faithful to tone down on internal bickering in order not to break hearts.
“Every time a party member speaks ill of another party member, we break the hearts of the people who look to us to bring back hope into their lives,” Nana Addo stated at his Nima residence on Thursday when he declared his intention to run for the NPP flagbearership race whenever the party opens nominations for the 2016 elections.
Flanked by his wife, Rebecca and his running mate for the two previous elections, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira, the NPP strong man and his wife exhibited some love gestures which attracted applause, as he described her as “my wife and best friend.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, who will be 70 years later in the month, ruled out age barrier in his quest to lead the party again, saying that much as he was as fit as fiddle, “I chose two professions that have no retirement age – law and politics.”
The NPP top figure has emphatically stated that he would pick forms to contest for the position of the flagbearer in 2016, but said he was not interested in leading a divided front for the battle ahead.
“In so saying, I seek to lead a united party. Yes, we believe in internal competition; and we must not shy away from the vibrant competition of ideas that is our custom as we battle one another for positions in the party. But, winning a party position should never be achieved at the expense of party unity.
“Yes, we are not perfect, and, we will make mistakes along the way, and some people will get carried away in the course of arguments. But, I believe there is no single issue in our party that we cannot resolve amicably as a family, to the satisfaction of all well-meaning parties to the issue.
“We have done very well over the last four months, under challenging conditions, to hold elections to choose some 140,000 officers to prosecute our 2016 campaign. No party in Ghana has been able to achieve this feat and I expect none will do so in the foreseeable future. We have plenty to celebrate and plenty more to look forward to. Let us focus on the bigger picture and complete satisfactorily the process of choosing national officers on April 12, in Tamale,” he stated to a thunderous applause.
He asked the party members to make the NPP buoyant and healthy to attract many disillusioned Ghanaians out there looking for a credible alternative to the NDC.
“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. The duty of an opposition party is to keep the government on its toes and not to step on one another’s toes,” he stressed.
He called for mutual respect among members, imploring them to do away with acrimony.
“We have a strong and ever-growing party of competent men and women. Every day, more and more people, who care deeply about the direction that the current administration is taking the country, are joining our party. Let us make such people feel welcome and confident that they have made the right choice with the NPP. In spite of all the propaganda against us, the facts are clear that NPP is as diverse as the country that we are in politics to serve,” he stated.
He expressed disgust about the growing corruption in the NDC administration. “The biggest threat to our democracy is the potential loss of confidence in the democratic system and the takeover of fear where there used to be hope. Our people see all around them corruption, economic hardships, falling standards in education, inefficient public service system, joblessness, especially amongst the youth, and insecurity,” he articulated.
He said the gap between what some politicians promise and what they deliver keep on widening. “That is dangerous for all of us. We need to restore hope and confidence in our young people; we need to restore hope and confidence in the leadership of the nation. Every child must have the best education that this nation can provide. We need to offer young people hope, education, and skills for decent jobs with decent pay,” he pointed out.