The New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Saturday, began the 2012 electioneering campaign in grand style at the famous Mantse Agbona Park at James Town, Accra, with their flagbearer, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, throwing the first punch at President John Evans Atta Mills, for being too weak in managing the affairs of the country.According to Nana Addo, the Woyome scandal, which slipped out of the hands of the President, was a clear testimony that the number one gentleman of the land was not on top of his government.

“The other time, we were told that President Mills twice stopped the payment of money to Woyome. But, with all his power, with all his authority, he couldn’t stop the payment. So, who is in charge of Ghana today?” Nana Addo quizzed the teeming party supporters, who swiftly responded with a big applause.

President Mills, according to the interim report by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), twice advised that the money should not be paid, yet his Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor,  went ahead to effect payment of GH¢51 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The payment to the self-acclaimed financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), for no apparent work done, Nana Addo noted, could have been used for developmental projects in the country.

That notwithstanding, he also exposed the flaws in communication of the ruling government, arguing that conflicting reports from the Presidency and the ministers leaves one in doubt, as to who really was telling the truth.

“We were told the other time in Parliament that this year witnessed the greatest growth in our GDP ratio -14.3%. What he didn’t tell us was the oil and gas that President Kufuor discovered, and the first time those proceeds has come into the national account – that is what is responsible for this growth.

“He told us that agriculture has done well, but on the contrary, the Minister of Finance told us in the budget in November that agriculture has not been able to meet its target. Who is telling the truth, the Minister or the President? We don’t know who is doing what, who is in charge of what,” the NPP flagbearer noted in a vivacious voice.

The gathering at Mantse Agbona, dubbed ‘Gargantuan Rally’, is the first-ever to be held by the opposition in 2012, to outdoor their parliamentary candidates in the Greater Accra Region. The event was well attended by many party bigwigs, including former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Continuing, Nana Addo told the large crowd, numbering over ten thousand, that the hypocrisy, propaganda, and lies of the NDC led government cannot bring progress to the nation, hence the need to reject the NDC in the 2012 general polls.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs told the crowd that President Mills’ failure to address issues confronting the country, in the areas of unemployment, rising cost of living, struggling businesses, high cost of education, and widespread corruption in his fourth State of the Nation Address, was an indication that he had lost touch with the concerns of Ghanaians.

To this end, he urged Ghanaians to remain steadfast, since the NPP would offer them hope and lift them up from the economic doldrums the country was witnessing.

“Ghana has a better destiny, Ghana has a better future. The Ghana of Nana Addo-Dankwa, Dombo, Busia, Obetsebi-Lamptey, and all the great men that have gone before us… that Ghana is not the Ghana we are witnessing today. We are coming to power to put Ghana forward, so that the people will get the relief that they want,” he intoned, while the crowd responded with applause.

He promised to make life better for the ordinary Ghanaian, by making education at the secondary level free of charge, arguing that “education is not meant only for the rich, but all Ghanaians.”

He also promised to create more jobs through his industrial agenda, where the country will no longer be a producer of raw materials to feed other nations, but will also process raw materials, adding, “We are moving forward and will never retreat.”

According to him, the NPP had got the men and women capable of giving first class governance that will rapidly change the economic and social status of the country, citing former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s achievement to buttress his argument.

Nana Addo asserted that President Mills would certainly not have the moral ground to campaign on any achievement, since there was none to showcase.

“The President and his advisors have decided that they cannot campaign on his record, they cannot campaign on his performance, he cannot campaign on the programme he has for the future of this country, and he cannot campaign against my public record. But, they are right. They are right to say they cannot campaign on his record and his performance, the record is poor and the performance is weak. That is why they cannot campaign on that record or that performance,” said Nana Addo.

To him, since there was no record for the NDC to show, they had resorted to character assassination and attacks on his hard-earned reputation, but asserted that those attacks would not succeed, since his track record was there for everybody to see.
“The only campaign weapon that they have is to attack me and blacken my name and reputation. But, I have news for the President; I have news for his so-called advisors; no amount of vilifications, no amount of insults, no amount of fabrications, no concoctions against me is going to stop me from doing my work for the people of our country, and for the progress of our nation. Nothing is going to stop me,” he intoned, amidst deafening cheers from the crowd.

He told the gathering that he was happy President Mills had committed himself to free and fair elections in December 2012. However, he stressed that the President should live up to his own words, saying “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

In a self-confident manner, Nana Addo said he was ready to engage President Mills in a “character contest,” if that was what the NDC want. “I don’t have a problem with that at all…Let’s engage in that contest. I don’t have a problem with it,” he stated.

He called for unity in the party, since that would be a benchmark for inviting other Ghanaians to vote massively for the party.

 

 

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