The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has warned that the leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would unleash a reign of terror on Ghanaians if handed the keys to the Flagstaff House on December 7.
According to the NDC, Akufo-Addo is harbouring an agenda only to punish some citizens he has always targeted and not to salvage any economy as he claims. A presidential staffer, Caesar Kale, issued this warning Saturday when Dr. Clement Apaak, another presidential staffer widely referred to as President John Dramani Mahama’s darling boy, took his turn to launch his 2016 parliamentary election campaign in the Builsa South Constituency.
“Let me tell you, a Nana Akufo-Addo presidency would be full vindictiveness. A Nana Akufo-Addo presidency would be full of violence. This is an individual who is so obsessed with power and so bitter and would want to grab power and use it to punish people he has been eyeing over the years. We don’t have to entertain such an individual in our governance of this country.
“We have our own presidential candidate, JM (John Mahama), who has actually shown respect to the people of this country, who has actually shown dedication and hard work, who has actually shown a peaceful government, who has actually shown some amount of unity. We want to develop as a country. I believe, even as a northerner, a JM presidency in the next four-year term is automatically going to consolidate the position of the northern territory in our governance system in Ghana,” Mr. Kale told a cheering crowd of party supporters at Fumbisi, capital of the Builsa South District.
NPP’s $1 million for each constituency will sink Ghana
Mr. Kale also stated that the NPP’s campaign promise to allot “$1 million” for every constituency had only exposed the plans of a party whose policies were designed to sink the country.
“Some people are promising that when they win, they are going to give every constituency $1 million. That statement alone clearly shows that such an individual wants the retrogression of this country, because as we speak today, if we take the cost of the total budget for each constituency every year, since the last four years, it is always more than $3 million.
“What government provides for every district or every constituency every year is more than $3 million. Cross check. I can say on authority, even though I’m not in the Builsa South District, but you do know that in the last 4 years, projects initiated in this district alone each year [are] more than that $1 million he (Akufo-Addo) is talking about,” he explained.
He added: “So, how can a presidential candidate say that when he wins, he will give every constituency $1 million every year and we see it as something progressive which in actual fact is retrogressive? Ladies and gentlemen, we should not be deceived- especially the youth and the students- with sugarcoated promises that can never be achieved.”
PNC chairman resigns to join Apaak’s campaign
If there is one thing that makes Dr. Apaak’s campaign launch outstanding among the 14 campaign launch rallies seen so far in the 15 constituencies of the Upper East Region, it is the resignation of a popular chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) from his party to join Dr. Apaak’s campaign team.
Abuda Agboluk, former Gbedema Zonal Chairman, told an overjoyed NDC crowd Saturday that he took the decision because the “PNC is full of lies and the NDC has always fulfilled whatever it promises”.
What makes that decision very significant to the NDC is not just the popularity of the zonal chairman. It is largely the fact that the NDC’s main contender for the seat in the area is the PNC whose candidate, Alhassan Azong, is also as well resourced and grounded as Dr. Apaak, who is also the Director of Ghana’s anti-graft institute, the Citizens’ Complaints Centre. The high-profile defection that favours the NDC, who is yet to lose any such member to its main opponent, probably mirrors an internal crack deep enough to cost Mr. Azong his sleep.
Dr. Apaak welcomes PNC chairman with Usain Bolt ‘archery sign’
None could celebrate the prospects of victory more than Dr. Apaak did on Saturday. Entering the arena for the launch in a convoy amid triumphant noises everywhere, he waved from the sunroof of his car at a crowd that lined the streets of the rural constituency.
Repeatedly, he tilted his body backwards and, like an archer stretching to shoot into the clouds, he drew out an imaginary bow with the left hand and pulled the arrow in the air with the right hand in Usain Bolt’s style, to signify the envisaged victory ahead of December 7. Each time he displayed the style, he got cheers back from the fans who accompanied his convoy mostly on foot and on motorcycles, wearing and bearing party souvenirs.
Dressed himself in the thick campaign lacoste that has the NDC colours printed diagonally in broad bands, Dr. Apaak addressed the gathering, telling party supporters to ignore “a lie” he said his political opponents had been peddling around against his candidature.
“The people are awake and they understand fully well that I am the candidate of the NDC led by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. I enjoy the unflinching and full support of the NDC at the national level and His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.
“So, if anyone tries to deceive and hoodwink the rank and file of the NDC to the effect that the president or the party doesn’t support me, question that person as to why the president would [ignore] his door-boy, his shoe-shine boy, his water-errand boy, to support somebody who doesn’t even get close to him. The truth must be told that the development that the NDC has brought to the north and to Buluk (the entire Builsa area) cannot be contested,” he said.
Dr. Apaak, described by speakers at the event as a “game changer” who would help reclaim the seat the NDC says it “loaned” to the PNC, touted some developmental projects he is said to have lobbied for the district. They include the infrastructure expansion of the Fumbisi Senior High Agric School, the under-construction Fumbisi Road, extension of rural electrification, the community day school at Kanjaga as well as the drilling and the repair of boreholes among others.
Teach the oldies how to vote – Albert Abongo
The Upper East Regional Minister, Albert Abongo, made an appearance at the event, telling the supporters to inform the communities that demonstrations over the lack of electricity were not necessary because government did not intend to leave any community out of the ongoing rural electrification project.
He also urged them to educate the elderly ones how to vote to help boost up the party’s chances at both the presidential and the parliamentary elections.
“We will finish one village and move to the other village. So, don’t have any fear about rural electrification. We are doing it. So, I’m urging all of you. Teach our mothers, teach our fathers, how to vote so that they don’t make mistakes, they don’t mess around with the ballot papers. So that when they have voted, the ballot paper is clean and they can be counted for our president, John Dramani Mahama, and they can be counted for Dr. Apaak,” Mr. Abongo stressed.
The NDC’s Deputy National Organiser, Joshua Hamidu Akamba, was among the big shots who stormed the Builsa South to help diffuse unconfirmed reports that the party was not in support of Dr. Apaak’s candidature.
“From today, don’t let anybody deceive you that the NDC doesn’t support Dr. Apaak. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us finish the roads. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us get a hospital. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us get good living in the district. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us develop Builsa South. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us get good schools. We support Dr. Apaak to come and help us get jobs and scholarships,” Mr. Akamba said.
NDC’s performances in Builsa South since 2008
The PNC’s Alhassan Azong has maintained his grab on the seat since 2008 when he won the election with 4,047 (36.5%) votes.
Roger Abolimbisa Akantagriwen, who represented the NDC, polled 3,988 (36.0%) votes, whilst Daniel Kojo Akaachobli of the NPP attracted 2,938 (26.5%) votes. The election saw Gifty Ajavuuk, Eric Akaba and Daniel Kwallinjam Kunde of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) obtain 39 (0.4%), 22 (0.2%) and 58 (0.5%) votes respectively.
The 2012 polls handed Alhassan Azong of the PNC 6,048 (47.12%) votes, beating his closest contender, the NDC’s Roger Abolimbisa Akantagriwen, who garnered 4,616 (35.97%) votes. The NPP’s Paulina Atiik Morton-Bruce got 2,114 (16.47%) votes whilst Daniel Kunde, representing the CPP, polled 56 (0.44%) votes.