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General News Tue, 11 Mar 2008

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Akufo-Addo to hold first press conference

New Patriotic Party’s Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, back from his tour intended to say ‘Thank You’ to delegates, traditional rulers, flag-bearer aspirants in the last NPP Congress, as well as party sympathizers and the general public, will Thursday morning hold his first official encounter with the media as the Presidential candidate of the NPP.

Nana, who is currently pressed for time because of the large number of individuals and groups craving for his presence and time to share ideas on the way forward, will be outlining his vision and articulating his programmes for the nation as the leader of the party in 2009, when he expects to be returned to power on the wings of the remarkable achievements of the NPP over the last seven years, and also his singular gift as a dynamic and visionary leader.

An ardent political strategist, the Presidential candidate of the NPP is also expected announce a campaign team he had put together in consultation with the leadership of the party and Government. The campaign team, NPP News learnt, is made of eight committees, tasked with various responsibilities within the overall framework of the campaign team’s strategies.

Details of the responsibilities of the various committees formed under the campaign team were unavailable at the time of filing this report, though it came out clear from NPP News investigations that research and communications will form a major component of the campaign machine. Another committee of importance, NPP News Research gathered, is the Special Interest Groups Committee, expected to interact with the shakers and movers of the party – from the grass roots up through business and professional bodies to top level party and government operatives.

The 16 or so others who competed with him for the position are all expected to play key roles in the overall campaign effort most notably in advisory capacities by virtue of their rich knowledge and experiences gained on the ground during the last grueling flagbearer contest campaign.

The inclusion of the noble top-notch party people is not so much based on the emphasis of party unity and cohesion, but the fact of the intimacy the Presidential candidate enjoyed from all of the aspirants through the healthy campaign exercises that culminated in the election of Nana as the Presidential candidate for the NPP during the Congress.

NPP News Research reveals that the Candidate holds the philosophy that if the party is able to hold on to its 128 seats or add a few other seats, it would already have won the 2008 elections hands down.

NPP News Research further picked signals on the Head of NPP Research, Brigadier Odei and Head of Nana’s Campaign Team, Victor Newman giving detailed presentations at a secret location at Dodowa, Accra, on the strength and weaknesses of the party, its challenges and fortunes in the upcoming elections. The presentations covered all the constituencies, particularly the 128 that the party campaign team has targeted. The report presented to the Presidential candidate also dealt candidly with identifying which candidates are likely to win seats and which MPs should be retained or dropped in the supreme interest of the party, in the overall effort at returning the NPP to power in the 2008 elections.

Nana’s commitment in ensuring victory at the 2008 elections for the benefit of party and Government is reflected in a press statement released to all constituencies over the weekend. In that terse release, he enjoined rank and file party to put party first in all matters, particularly regarding the impending primaries for areas with sitting MPs.

“Guided by the broader interests of our party, let the contests be respectful and decorous. Disagreement on who is the best candidate for a particular constituency need not undermine our common interests. Consistent with our democratic traditions, let us all respect the choice of the people and unite behind whoever is chosen.

Our goal in this exercise is to nominate candidates who will win in December and help increase our parliamentary majority. We should all be mindful that the victory of any of us primary would be worthless unless that leads to our victory in December.”

According to Nana, the process, like all contests in the party, should lead to a stronger and even more united party. “United,” he believes, “there is no political force in Ghana that can withstand the might of the Elephant…”

Nana Akufo-Addo will also later with party officials be sharing personal thoughts and strategies he considers worthwhile and workable in winning the elections, against the background of choice of parliamentary candidates, party structures and roles, reforms in the workings and practices in the party informed not only by tradition and convention but also the NPP current history and experiences gained in government.

The press conference will be held at the forecourt of the former NPP Headquarters at Kokomlemle in Accra between 10:00am and 11:00am.

Source: www.nppnews.com

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