General News of 2014-08-18

Apraku calls for recapturing of lost regions

An aspirant eyeing the presidential candidacy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2016 elections, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, has stepped up his campaign with a call on the leadership and members of the party to place premium on recapturing the lost regions.

In his view, “The NPP cannot continue to lose significant votes in their strongholds of the Ashanti and Eastern regions in addition to losses in the Brong, Central, Western and Greater Accra regions.”

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the confident-looking Dr Apraku, who is a former trade minister, pointed out that the notion that the NPP could win the 2016 elections without recapturing the lost regions, especially the Brong Ahafo Region was erroneous.

“The Brong Ahafo Region, in my judgement, is the easiest region we can recapture while the party makes concerted efforts to win convincingly the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions,” he asserted.

For instance, Dr Apraku said in the Ashanti Region, in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, the NPP dropped votes from 80.50 per cent to 76.97 per cent, 74.39 per cent and 70.86 per cent respectively.

A similar trend was seen in the Eastern Region where the NPP dropped votes from 2004, 2008 and 2012 to 51.95 per cent, 48.71 per cent and 47.33 per cent respectively.

In the Western Region, votes also dropped from 62.46 per cent, 57.70 per cent. 48.08 per cent and 43.80 per cent from the year 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Other regions that followed suit were the Northern Region, where votes dropped sharply from 2000 in which the party garnered from 48.55 per cent to 34.72 per cent, 38.39 per cent and 39.11 per cent in 2004, 2008 and 2012 respectively. The Upper East Region did not experience differences in trend.

According to the aspiring flag bearer, the NPP cannot pretend that everything is well and continue with the status quo.

“The trend is also manifesting itself in the parliamentary results and not just the presidential results; this is the challenge for the NPP,” he told the Daily Graphic.

He stressed the need for the NPP to find an immediate formula to stem the upsurge where the NDC was making significant gains at their orphan or weaker constituencies and consolidating gains achieved in their strongholds.

Either way, Dr Apraku stated, the NPP could not continue to lose in their strongholds, as well as orphan or weaker constituencies.

It was in this vein that Dr Apraku enjoined party delegates to look beyond limited considerations and rather consider the broader issues and interest of winning political power in 2016, by electing him the flag bearer of the party.

He said his campaign message was resonating well with the rank and file of the party, and expressed the conviction that he would ultimately emerge victorious in his campaign.

Dr Apraku expressed the belief that continuous and sustained programmes including the setting up of an independent commission to investigate the causes of NPP losses in the last two elections (2008 and 2012 elections) were critical for the party to make any headway in the 2016 polls.

He said the commission, when it is set up, must equally outline programmes and actions that would ensure NPP win the 2016 elections convincingly.

He further stated that the commission should be made up of people who were not necessarily office-holders, but professionals within the party, who would produce results that were practical and realistic so that the NPP would have a good chance in the 2016 elections.

“It is important for the NPP as a mass party to learn that as we have lost presidential votes in our strong areas, the National Democratic Congress has protected its strong areas. We have allowed the NDC to protect their strongholds and they have denied us theirs,” he stated with statistical evidence of NPP regional presidential election results from the year 2000-2012.

Dr Apraku, who told the Daily Graphic he had visited every constituency with his message, is currently on the second leg of his campaign tour which starts in the Northern Region today, to be followed by the Upper East and Upper West regions. He will also be visiting the Greater Accra and the Volta regions next.

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