“This year try me too. Give me the chance to show you what I can do. Four years is not so far away. If I come and I don’t succeed, kick me out. God knows my heart and I can assure you that I won’t disappoint you. Progress and prosperity are what I am offering the people of Ghana.”
These were the words of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, when he addressed a meeting of Muslim clerics and chiefs of settler communities in Derma in the Tano South constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region on Sunday.
Accompanied by national and regional party stalwarts, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that the NPP, traditionally, has not done well electorally in settler communities across the country, largely because of the deliberate tagging of the NPP as an “anti-northern” party by political opponents.
Thus, the NPP, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, has now decided to aggressively campaign in all settler communities across the country so as to dispel this false notion, with barely eight months to the November elections.
“This talk of the NPP being anti-northerners is simply not true. When you go into the history books, all the leaders of the tradition from which the NPP emerged are northerners. The tradition we belong to is called the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition. Dombo hailed from the North. Jato Kaleo, Abaayifa Karbo, Yakubu Tali, B.K Adama, Imoro Salifu, [and] C.K. Tedam were all northerners who started our party,” he said.
He continued, “In my attempts at the presidency, I have stuck with my running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who comes from Walewale and is also a Muslim. President Kufuor, before he won the 2000 election, and during the entire tenure of office, chose a running mate from the North, in the person of the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who hailed from Yendi. So if somebody says the NPP hates Northerners and Muslims, it can never be true. The records do not show that.”
Nana Akufo-Addo told the Chiefs that “this type of anti-NPP sentiments only surface during elections,” adding that “when there are no elections, we live in this country peacefully and harmoniously. These are done purely for electoral advantage.”
He therefore urged them to ignore this type of politicking, but rather vote for candidates and political parties whose sole aim in office would be to better the lives of Ghanaians through the institution of effective policies.
To the people of Derma, who are predominantly cocoa and vegetable farmers, Nana Akufo-Addo urged them to consider the track record of the two main parties in agriculture in the run-up to the November elections.
“When given the choice of NPP and NDC, there is no way that you, as a cocoa farmer, should choose the NDC over the NPP. The NPP is the party that has looked after the welfare of cocoa farmers. It is the NPP, under President Kufuor, that raised cocoa production to levels never witnessed in Ghana’s history. Under the NDC, access to subsidized fertilizer is no more, cocoa bonuses have been scrapped, and the mass spraying exercise has collapsed. In fact, the measures put in place by President Kufuor which led to high production levels of cocoa and high prices for cocoa farmers have all collapsed,” he bemoaned.
To this end, he urged the electorate to consider the welfare of the nation and of their families and their conditions of living before casting their ballots on November 7.
“Would you prefer a ‘family member’ who has nothing but suffering for you, or would you prefer a ‘stranger’ who will bring you prosperity? The NPP is the party that will bring prosperity to the people of Ghana. We have the men and women capable of delivering a first class government for Ghanaians. President Kufuor did it in eight years for all to see. When he left office, Ghana was the beacon of Africa. He did all of that without oil. Now that we have the benefit of oil revenues, look at the hardships and economic difficulties we find ourselves in. We in the NPP, under my leadership, are going to put the country back on the road to prosperity,” he added.
Nana Akufo-Addo also made brief stops at Techimantia and Dwomo, all in the Tano South constituency, urging the electorate to vote for him as President and Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere as the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied by former presidential aspirant and former Minister of Trade, Industry and PSIs, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, among others.