The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that his campaigns over the years, and in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 elections, have always been on the issues affecting the people of Ghana and the proffering of solutions to problems.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, unlike others who have no campaign message and have rather made him the subject of incessant character assassinations, his campaign has been devoid of personal attacks and insults.
The NPP flag bearer made this known on Sunday, October 30, 2016, when he addressed a durbar of Chiefs at Kpone.
“I have talked of nothing but issues confronting the people in my campaigns. I have never gotten myself involved in personal comments. My comments are about the record of my opponents and their policies, which I believe, are not in the interest of our country. That is the position I have taken and will continue to be my position all through this campaign,” he said in direct response to an appeal made to him by the Paramounct Chief of Kpone, Nii Tetteh Otu II to stay off attacking his opponents’ personality.
Associating himself with comments made by Nii Tetteh Otu II on the need to industrialise the economy, the NPP flag bearer stressed that “this is why a very important part of our programme, which I am sure you’ve heard, is the need to industrialise our country and do it equitably across the country – 1-District-1-Factory.”
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that “we have decided on this strategy of development because it is the way all our people, in all areas of our country, can participate in the progress of our nation. By the same token, we are saying that the development that lasts is one that is at the base of our society.”
It is for this same reason that the NPP flag bearer justified the setting up of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which will ensure that all 275 constituencies get the cedi equivalent of $1 million to tackle issues of development at the local level.
“That is the purpose of the Coastal Development Authority that will be looking after the constituencies in Accra. It will be the implementing agency through which this money will be sent to the constituencies. In so doing, this is the assurance I am giving you that you and the chiefs and elders of Kpone will have a say in how this money is utilised,” he added.
Again, in response to the Kpone Chief’s comments on the adverse effects of corruption on the development of the country, the NPP flag bearer indicated that this statement by Nii Tetteh Otu II shows how deep-rooted corruption was in the current government.
“Leaders, instead of concentrating on administering the monies of the country in the interest of the people, rather see it as a way to put the money in their pockets. I want you and the people of Kpone to understand that I did not come into politics to amass wealth at the expense of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
He continued: “That is not the reason why I am in Ghanaian politics. I am vying for the ultimate position in our country as somebody who is going to do an honest job and look after the monies of the people in their interest and not in my personal interest.”
On the need for Ghana’s peace to be maintained before, during and after the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo stressed that: “I don’t think there’s any responsible citizen of Ghana who will disagree with you (Nii Tetteh Otu II). Let us put the matter of peace in context. We are at peace in Ghana today, as we speak. What matters is how all of us agree on the things we need to do to maintain the peace that we have.”
The most important thing, according to the NPP flag bearer, “is that the people of Ghana should have confidence that the process and result of the election will be transparent, fair and credible. That’s the best way of maintaining the peace of the country.”
Therefore, in the view of Nana Akufo-Addo, “all of us have a duty to assist the EC to administer an election that is free, fair and transparent. That is the way we can guarantee the peace. I have no doubt that the Ghanaian people are committed to democracy and the rule of law. Because of our history, the overwhelming majority of our people want us to stay on the path of democratic development”.