Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
LOOKING at the crowd of New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters that turned up at the forecourt of the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi on Thursday afternoon to welcome him to Kumasi, the NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, declared, “I wish the elections were held today.”
Bubbling with confidence, he told the enthusiastic crowd that “President John Agyekum Kufuor would hand over to him on January 7, 2009 as the next President of the country”.
He, however, charged the cheering gathering to continue to work very hard to ensure that “we win the elections massively on December 7”. The rally was organised to thank the party members in the Ashanti Region for voting him to become the presidential candidate for the party.
His speech, which lasted for just about 15 minutes, was pregnant with words of appreciation and optimism, and as he left the podium, he had a hectic time going through the crowd to board his car as the party supporters moved forward in a bid to shake hands with him.
Almost all the former aspirants who contested with Nana Akufo-Addo in the NPP national delegates conference were around to lend their support to their candidate.
They included Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Dr K.K. Apraku, Dr Arthur Kennedy, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor and Prof., Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Mr Kwabena Agyepong and Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who earlier paraded through some of the principal streets of Kumasi in an open top vehicle, said the presence of the former aspirants was a clear indication that the party was united and ready to continue handling the affairs of the nation.
He said while the National Democratic Congress (NDC) continued to use insults as its main weapon, the NPP would use its track record to carry the day.
“The NDC says this year is for them. Do they want to tell us we are not going to take part in the voting?” Nana Akufo-Addo asked.
Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the achievements recorded by the NPP government under President Kufuor surpassed those of other governments in the country.
He pointed out that the December election was about the future of the country, and, therefore, asked the people to take the upcoming voter registration exercise very seriously, so that they could cast their votes for him and the NPP to continue with the progressive policies and programmes.
He said he was proud of the Ashanti Region as a pillar behind the party and said, “I will not disappoint you when I become President.”
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, commended the people of Kumasi for their impressive turn out at the rally, and said it once again proved that “we in Ashanti would never turn against the NPP”.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr Peter Mac Manu, reminded the party faithful that the forthcoming primaries to elect parliamentary candidates for the party were very important in the party’s quest to retain power.
He, therefore, charged the rank and file of the party to make the exercise peaceful to maintain and build on the party’s democratic credentials.
He stated that the elections of parliamentary candidates would be completed by the end of May.
All the former aspirants also spoke at the rally and pledged that they were united behind their candidate, whom they described as God-sent.