New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has added his voice to the numerous calls on the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a fresh voters’ register for the 2016 general elections.
He said the newly-appointed EC chairperson, Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, has an opportunity to start her tenure on a sound footing with the preparation of a fresh register for the country.
Many Ghanaians as well as civil society organisations and think tanks strongly believe that the first-ever biometric voters’ register which was used for the controversial 2012 general elections in which the Presidential results landed in the Supreme Court is bloated; but the EC appears adamant with regard to preparing a new register.
The commission is emboldened to parry requests for a new register because the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government seems satisfied with the current register.
Nana Akufo-Addo threw the challenge to the new EC boss when he addressed a large crowd of Ghanaians living in the northern part of the United Kingdom at the weekend.
Ghanaians in areas like Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, and Birmingham attended the programme organised by the NPP branch in the UK.
The NPP flagbearer noted that the 56% of the 25 million Ghanaians registered as voters in the current register was an anomaly that needed to be addressed without further delay.
He then asked Ghanaians in the Diaspora and those back home to join in the crusade for a new voters’ register.
Nana Akufo-Addo also turned his attention to the current economic conditions in the country which he described as ‘harsh’ and said it had left many young people desperate and in despair.
He pledged that should the NPP win and form the next government, he would ensure the creation of a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to thrive since the sector holds the key to economic transformation.
He noted that the economy could not continue to rely on the export of raw materials, stressing, ‘There is the need for a paradigm shift to a value added economy.’
He said an NPP government under his leadership would expand agriculture and restructure the financial sector to boost growth.
Nana Akufo-Addo recalled the progress the country made in eight years of President Kufour’s government and said, ‘This is what a country under good leadership can achieve’, to a loud applause of approval from the crowd.
He condemned the rampant corruption in the country especially among public officials, adding, ‘There is an urgent need for competitive bidding for all government contracts to ensure value for money.’
Other speakers at the function were Mr Nii Adjiri Blankson, former Mayor of Accra; Wiafe Pepera, MP for Abetifi; Dr Samiu Nuamah, a former Financial Secretary of the NPP UK and parliamentary candidate for Kwadaso; Ms Veronica Heming, former Women’s Organiser of the branch and parliamentary candidate for Bole Bamboi; and former Chairman of the branch, Hayford Attah Kruffi.
Nana was accompanied by Captain Edmund Koda (Personal Aide) and Saratu Atta (Executive Secretary).
Also present at the meeting were Richard Dombo (1st Vice Chairman), David Owusu Yianoma (2nd Vice Chairman), Dr John Kissi ( Secretary), Saeed Duah (Branch Organiser), Kweku Nkansah (Deputy Organiser), Kofi Korsah (Deputy Youth Organiser), Paulina Koranteng (Women’s Organiser), Nana Yaw Sarpong (Communication Director), Arafat Sulemana (Nasara Coordinator) and other senior members of the branch.
By William Yaw Owusu
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