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Candidate Akufo-Addo: “We build the economy, they shrink the economy”

The president fired the opening salvos in the New Patriotic Party’s fight for re-election with a fiery speech as the NPP acclaimed him as its flagbearer. His conviction: “Ghanaians will take a decisive step towards a brighter future”

The New Patriotic Party’s lead candidate for the 7 December general election, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he is convinced that the people of Ghana will take a decisive step by choosing him and his running mate to lead them into a brighter and more prosperous future.

Addressing an NPP National Council meeting after his acclamation as the party’s presidential candidate at the Alisa Hotel in Accra today (27 June), President Akufo-Addo argued that the 2020 election offers Ghanaians a clear choice.

That choice is between a tried and tested leader who is dedicated to Ghana’s cause and one who failed Ghanaians when he had the chance to lead them, he said.

Swipe at NDC

“I will do everything on my part to justify the decision [to choose him as the presidential candidate] and lead the party to another victory in December … I respect in all humility your decision,” Akufo-Addo told National Council members after they endorsed him.

Assuring the NPP National Council that he is persuaded the people of Ghana will make the right choice in the December polls, President Akufo-Addo took a swipe at the opposition National Democratic Congress, describing it as grossly incompetent.

“We have a good story to tell and we should go out to tell it. In every sector of our lives, we should show the difference between the NPP way of tackling problems, and the way our opponents do it.

“We grow the economy: they shrink the economy. We create a properly regulated, enabling atmosphere for businesses to flourish: they allow chancers and speculators to lure citizens into putting their monies in dodgy enterprises.

“They bring our banks and financial services to near collapse, and we have to clean up, shore up and restore confidence. They plunge us into dumsor: we keep the lights on. They look on clueless as hundreds of thousands of Ghana’s children exit school at JHS: we bring Free SHS and Free TVET to prepare our children better to face life,” the president said.

“The December 2020 presidential race represents probably the clearest of choices ever for the Ghanaian people to make. And why do I say so? It is because 2020 is between the current president and the president who was voted out in the last contest.”

NPP acclaims Akufo-Addo at the Alisa, 27.6.2020
Photograph: Karen Dodoo

 

Election 2020 battleground

President Akufo-Addo argued that the 2020 election will be “about leadership and integrity”.

“It is about the performances of the two men when given the opportunity by the Ghanaian people to lead,” he said. “It is about measuring records against promises. It is about which of the two leaders has shown in office that he knows how to manage the economy.

“It is about which of the two leaders you, the voter, can trust to deliver. It is about which of the two men you can trust with the future of your children. It is about which of the two leaders you know you can depend on in times of crisis.

“It is about which of the two leaders you believe can put in motion the necessary measures to revive and strengthen the economy, businesses and social services, and build our country out of the coronavirus pandemic.”

NPP acclaims Akufo-Addo at the Alisa, 27.6.2020
President Kufuor arrives at the Alisa Hotel to take part in the acclamation by the National Council (Karen Dodoo)

 

Bright future within grasp

President Akufo-Addo affirmed that he holds the “firm conviction that this nation, the Black Star of Africa, is on the brink of a decisive step into a brighter future which will deliver progress and prosperity to all the peoples of our country”.

His acclamation was also the moment for President Akufo-Addo to name his running mate for the December election, and the president did not lose the opportunity to make another dig at the NDC.

“The party will complete its presidential ticket – a feat that appears to elude some of our opponents,” he told the National Council. “We have no such difficulty. We have a most fitting person to feature on our ticket – my good and loyal friend Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia.”

Uniting the party

Akufo-Addo recalled that the first occasion when he won the opportunity to run as an NPP candidate by acclamation occurred in 2004, when the constituency party accepted him as the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Abuakwa South.

Today is only the second time in his political career that he has won the party’s approval to run without going through a competitive process.

Concluding his address, he said: “A united NPP, working under my leadership, in tandem with my brilliant, resourceful running mate, Vice-President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia – who has just been resoundingly acclaimed by the National Council, the man who consistently sends alarm and shivers down the spine of our opponents – can, in all humility, lead Ghana and the Ghanaian people to take this giant step forward.”

Revisiting the NPP parliamentary primaries which took place last Saturday and Tuesday (20 and 23 June), President Akufo-Addo said he has met with all 42 sitting MPs who lost the party’s nomination. His advice to them was that they should swallow their disappointment and unite to go before the country and secure the bigger prize: an NPP victory in the general election.

“I believe that the message went down well, especially if we recollect the impressive words several of them uttered after their defeat,” the president said.

 

Worthy successor

Dr Bawumia gave a rousing speech to accept the president’s nomination to be his running mate.

Like the president, he will be appearing on the NPP’s presidential ticket for the fourth consecutive time.

“This day is historic,” Dr Bawumia said. “It has never happened before that a presidential candidate will select the same running mate four times in a row.

“His Excellency selected me in 2008, 2012, 2016 and now in 2020 … He could have dropped me but he stuck with me, and I am honoured that he did.”

Wilberforce Asare; additional reporting by the Asaase Radio newsroom team

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