I’m the Striker
The die is finally cast, with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, MP for Abuakwa South and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD, declaring his intention to seek the highest office of the land- the presidency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, he was the candidate to beat, as he was ready to give the NPP the winning goal after the 2-2 draw with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). “I’m the striker who will score the winning goal for NPP,” he declared in an interaction with journalists after meeting his supporters from five constituencies in the Greater Accra Region last Friday. The constituencies were Tema East, Tema West, Adenta, Ashaiman and Kpone Katamanso. The meeting was held at the plush Kokomlemle offices of Friends of Nana Akufo Addo (FONAA), a support group formed to champion his cause. The Foreign Affairs Minister who jetted out yesterday to attend the inaugural session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, noted that 2008 is a critical year for the party, therefore he was ready to offer good leadership for the NPP.
The Human Rights Council, is one of the reform processes initiated by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Ghana is a member of the council, having received the highest number of votes during the election for members. Nana Akufo Addo, stated that the unity of the party, was paramount to him, therefore he would do everything to preserve it. He welcomes competition in the NPP presidential race, saying that healthy competition was good for the party. However, he said his campaign would be conducted in a most civil manner without attacks on personalities. According to him, hacking of other candidates would not serve the interest of the party and stressed that he would rely on the judgment of the delegates to make the right choice for the party.
NPP, the minister noted, has a time-tested process of electing candidates, after which all the losers rally behind the winner. He expressed strong belief that a similar thing would happen when the party goes for congress. However, the Abuakwa South MP thinks there should be a time table and guidelines for electing the flagbearer as that would enable candidates to plan ahead. Nana Akufo Addo does not support early congress. Sources close to him indicate that he still stands by that decision, to avoid what he describes as dualism, with ten candidates running a campaign while the incumbent President is running the country.
According to him, no candidate can run away from the achievements and shortcomings of the Kufuor administration, pointing out that he would take the country to the next level after the exit of President Kufuor. Promising to lead Ghana to attain the status of the Asian Tigers, he said Ghana is the only country in Black Africa which can replicate the success story of the Asian Tigers.
The spokesman for the FONAA, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, said the centre, was established to help Nana Akufo Addo’s campaign since the minister spends most of his time outside. Within this year alone, the minister had spent 75 days outside, clamouring for investments for Ghana. Mustapha, former Youth Organiser of the NPP stated that, FONAA was a voluntary organization that would continue to exist even after the election of their candidate.
The minister used his visit to the FONAA offices to launch a website dedicated to his campaign, www.fonaa.net for its Ghana office while www.fonaa.com is the site for its US branch.