A New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer aspirant, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has justified the small throng that accompanied him to file his nomination papers, claiming that he only garnered a dedicated crowd of believers in his bid.
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According to him, he is not intimidated by the massive crowds that have characterised the filing of nomination papers by other contestants.
Tens of thousands of NPP supporters and enthusiasts descended on the party’s headquarters in Accra on June 16, 2023 to support Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in filing his candidacy papers.
But Dr. Akoto told the media yesterday after filing his papers that, unlike other contestants who bussed people in, the folks who joined him did so of their own volition, with the majority of them being farmers.
“Let me say here that everybody who has come here, including representatives of farmers, are here on their own accord. You cannot see any bused crowd or any big commercial vehicle bringing people to come and support.
“People have come on their own volition and conviction that my candidature will be good for the people of Ghana and the NPP, and I am very grateful,” he insisted.
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Despite the fact that a few people were spotted following him, Dr. Akoto claimed he was accompanied by 22 Greater Accra Region Constituency Chairmen, including his Campaign Chairman, Alfred Boye, a former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party.
Others are his Co-Campaign Chairman, Ken-Wood Nuworsu, who is also a former Volta Regional Chairman of the party; National Campaign Coordinator, Peter Oteng Darko; as well as Electoral Area Coordinators, Polling Station Executives, farmers, friends, and loved ones.
“My forms were received by the Director for Finance and Administration, Williams Yamoah, and the Director of Election, Evans Nimako,” he revealed.
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He said the national executives of the party, after reviewing the forms, cleared him for meeting all the requirements.
“I assured Ghanaians that I have laid a solid foundation at Ghana’s agriculture sector that is capable of changing the country’s economic fortunes and that I am the best candidate for the party’s flagbearer position,” he intimated.
He expressed appreciation for the support he had received from some delegates, particularly constituency chairmen, and urged them to remain committed to the cause of electing him as the NPP’s flagbearer.
Dr. Akoto, an agricultural economist, who is banking his hopes on farmers to become President, appears to have more billboards and posters across the country than any of the aspirants.
The handful of supporters who followed him for the filing of candidacy papers were spotted holding placards with messages emphasising his abilities and the importance of using agriculture to preserve the country.
For Dr. Afriyie Akoto, the NPP needs to be united to stand a chance of ‘breaking the eight’, asserting, “You cannot break the 8 with half an egg.”
“It has to be the full egg and everybody in this party is important in this respect, especially the delegates who have been given the constitutional powers to choose a flagbearer of this party,” he added.
“I hope that at the end of the day, we will be given the opportunity for delegates to listen to us and make the right choice so that this party can retain power come 2024,” he noted.
Besides Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko also filed his nomination forms to contest in the NPP’s presidential poll.
He called on the party to take action against flagbearer aspirants who violate election rules, highlighting the significance of adhering to the rules and regulations for a fair and transparent electoral process.
“It is important that all (aspirants) uphold the rules and regulations. Without sounding like a fly in the jar, there have been many provocations, there have been many breaking the rules for which no sanctions have been applied. I have even raised the matter at the national council,” he stated.
Mr. Agyarko said, “So long as the rules are clear, so long as there is total fairness, so long as we are all tempered or measured, I believe that we would have a very peaceful contest. But please do not hold yourself aloof from the entire process.”
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, another aspirant, also managed to file his nomination papers after being instructed previously by the party’s elections committee to revise his forms because they were missing needed information.
He had turned in his papers without including key documents, such as his CV and list of personal contributions to the party.
Source: Ernest Kofi Adu/Daily Guide
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