Tuesday, September 9, 2008


zAS he begins to count his final days as President of the Republic, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor has given hints of how he would spend his retirement, saying, "I will stay back and offer advise to the next President, Nana Akufo- Addo".
The President said he would use the rich experience he had gained in the forty years of his political career to the full benefit of Nana Akufo-Addo and the next NPP government through pieces of good advise, to move the nation forward.
Addressing a rally of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Abuakwa in the Atwima Nwabiagya District in the Ashanti Region last Sunday, President Kufuor said he was proud of what he had achieved for his nation as President, and expressed the hope that his successor would build on what he started.
The President, who spoke in Twi' to continuous cheers from the party supporters, said Nana Akufo-Addo had the wherewithal to lead the nation, especially as he would be taking office with Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, a young man with plenty of ideas as the Vice President.
The well-attended rally was part of President Kufuor's campaign towards getting the electorate to retain the NPP in power in the December 7 polls.
It was also to thank the people of Atwima Nwabiagya, the President's home district, for supporting him in his long political career.
In 1969, the people of Atwima Nwabiagya elected Mr Kufuor, in his twenties, to Parliament from where he became the Deputy Foreign Minister in the Progress Party PP government.
The NPP is embarking on a three-prong attack towards the elections.
On one hand is the presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo while President Kufuor and Dr Mahamadu Bawumia lead the other campaigns.
President Kufuor said he could not have chosen a better place to launch the campaign because it was in the constituency that he started his political career.
He called on the electorate to be wary of politicians who are promising heavens, saying, "they have been in power before and their records show they have nothing to offer".
Appearing somehow sarcastic, President Kufuor said of the NDC, "Even when they were young they could not do anything and not now that they have grown old" what else can they do?"
"They wasted the 19 years they had and Ghanaians should not play into their tricks again", the President said.
Mr Kufuor pointed out that the NPP government had done enough to be retained in power.
He mentioned the massive infrastructure development that the nation had witnessed within the last seven years, the capitation grant, the national health insurance scheme and other laudable initiatives of the
government, and said they had greatly pushed the nation's development agenda forward.
President Kufuor expressed regret about statements by some people that there was no money in the pockets of the people.
He pointed out that it was only lazy people who would make such complaints, stressing that the government had created opportunities for people to enter various jobs to better their lot.
He observed that the increment in the producer price of cocoa was a testimony of his government's commitment to see farmers receive a fair share of the revenue accruing to the nation from cocoa.
President Kufuor stated that bonuses to cocoa farmers would be paid twice every year.
He told NPP members who had decided to go independent to be wary of their action, saying such persons could not claim they supported Nana Akufo-Addo.
He, therefore, advised the people of the Atwima Nwabiagya constituency, especially NPP supporters, to vote for the NPP parliamentary candidate, Mr Benito Owusu Bio.
The President assured the gathering that the oil money that would accrue to Ghana would not go into the pockets of officials but would be wisely used for the benefit of the nation.
Mr J.H. Mensah, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said from all indications, Ghanaians were going to vote massively for the NPP in the general elections.
He called on the people not to give in to the politicians who preached violence, saying the NPP would always do "clean politics" because the people of the country deserved better.

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