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The launch of the campaign of the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday took the nation’s capital, Accra, by storm with a horde of party gurus and supporters visibly endorsing his candidature.
Nana Addo used the occasion to respond to President John Mahama’s statement he made on Monday that he (Mahama) is the captain of the ship. Nana unequivocally cautioned embattled President Mahama that the ship was sinking because of poor leadership.
According to Akufo-Addo, it reminded him of an old Trinidadian calypso song of the 1970s, called Gypsy, which words, “Captain this ship is sinking…Captain these seas are rough, oh yes…We gas tank almost empty…No electricity, we oil pressure reading low…Shall we abandon ship…Or shall we stay on it and perish slow?”
But, the NPP strongman said, “I will stay on this ship, the NPP will stay on this ship, and we shall get it to refloat”, and promised, “We shall restore hope; we shall make Ghana work again and bring back the smiles to the faces of our people.”
He was brimming with overwhelming confidence “the Black Star will shine again!”
“To the people of Ghana I say, keep hope alive. I believe in Ghana. And, above all, I believe in God. Change will come in 2016," he told an over-enthusiastic party faithful at the famous Akwei’s House at Akoto Lante in the heart of the Odododiodioo constituency where the event took place.
Touching on his flagbearership bid, Nana Akufo-Addo posited, “I am the party’s best bet to win power in 2016,” dismissing claim that he was unfit to contest another election.
“My body is in good shape. My mind remains as sharp as it ever was; the competitive fire still burns in my belly… I am fit and ready, and my appetite is as keen as ever to go to battle for the cause of the NPP,” he said to the teeming party supporters.
According to him, he is “emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, physically, patriotically and spiritually strong enough to lead this party [NPP] and our dear nation, Ghana.”
All the ten Regional Chairmen; 34 Constituency Chairmen of Accra and 107 Minority MPs in Parliament; hard-core supporters from his closest contender, Alan Kyeremanten; the famous Nhyiaeso constituency Chairman, Kofi Agyei, aka Geo Kad; the Ablekuma North Constituency Chairman, Bella; Greater Accra Regional Organiser, Archibald Cobbina and former Alan’s Spokesman, John Kumah, declared support for the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo ahead of the October 18 presidential primary of the party.
“Since 1998, I have never supported Nana. Nana won in all but one constituency in the Ashanti Region in the 2010 primary; that was my constituency. Today I can assure you that the door is open for Nana in my constituency. We have to think of power and not our selfish interests. We presented Nana in 2008, 2012, and I believe that in 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo will become President in Ghana," Geo Kad said in his endorsement statement.
The two-time flagbearer of the NPP indicated his preparedness to lead the party in the 2016 general elections to wrestle power from what he described as the “incompetent Mahama-led NDC administration,” saying “I am ready. Let the journey begin.”
According to him, “The NPP has unfinished business. Ghanaians are impatient. They want the NPP to come and focus on what matters most; the restoration of hope and the development of our nation.” He asked the rank and file of the party “to focus on the havoc Mahama’s government is wreaking on the populace on a daily basis.”
“We are two years in the second term of the NDC. The ‘Better Ghana’ they promised in 2008 and repeated in 2012 remains an empty and cynical slogan as is their “e dey bii keke”. There can be no better Ghana when access to healthcare is worse today than it was even a year ago. There can be no better Ghana, when our cedi is the worst performing currency in Africa and the second worst in the world – better only than Ukraine’s local currency. There can be no better Ghana when higher taxes, high utility prices, high fuel prices, low sales are killing businesses up and down the country. There can be no better Ghana when our young people cannot find jobs. There can be no better Ghana when the leadership of the country has lost touch with the concerns of the people and dances to the tune of “Yen tie obiaa”. There can be no better Ghana so long as the NDC remains in power. There can be no better Ghana with the current clueless and uncaring leadership," he told the anxious crowd.
He was of a firm belief that “the crisis facing our country can be cured” and that “it can only be cured by a competent and dynamic team with a programme for determined implementation under the decisive leadership of a person with a clear vision of Ghana’s future.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said, “The people have lost confidence in President Mahama and the NDC’s ability to govern.”
Last week’s nationwide demonstration under the aegis of organized labour, he said, was clear evidence that things had gotten bad and that the people had lost confidence in the administration of the country by Mahama
“It is this same loss of confidence in the leadership that led to the disgraceful spectacle of Ghana flying money halfway across the world to pay a mutinous national team," he noted.
Even though he said it gave him no pleasure to say that “things are unfolding just as we had predicted, and that, indeed, the chickens have come home to roost.” Akufo-Addo indicated that “the hole this country is in is a result of the desperation of the NDC government to win the 2012 elections at all cost.”
“We will put Ghana back to work. We will stabilise the cedi; we have done it before. We will manage the economy competently; we have done it before. We will create the environment for the private sector to thrive; we have done it before.
“We will provide the leadership that will mobilise the positive energies of the great majority of Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, to take the bold steps towards the structural transformation of our national economy, which is the way to lasting prosperity.
“We will improve significantly the governance of our nation; we have done it before. I am strong in my conviction and confident that we can do it. I know we are capable,” he promised.
According to Nana Addo, “God did not put us on this rich land to be poor. It is bad leadership that makes us poor.”
From the Akwei’s House, Nana Akufo-Addo and his two-time running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, went to the famous ‘drug store lane’ in the Central Business District of Okaishie to address a mammoth crowd that could easily pass for a carnival, with some market women carrying stones in hand and asking him to come for his stone—a local sign and adage that means a person has been vindicated.
The flagbearer hopeful would today begin a nationwide tour. He is expected to be in Bolgatanga, Tamale and Wa in the next three days, and then proceed to other regions to plead with delegates to give him the mandate to lead the NPP once again.
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