Nduom takes selfie after firing Akufo-Addo, EC


    A rare self-portrait of the 2016 presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, taken by himself with a smartphone after firing verbal explosives at the Electoral Commission (EC) and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is ripping through social media platforms.

    The weathered politician gathered a host of executives of Ghana’s “second-biggest” opposition party for a selfie at the high table after delivering a speech at the party’s 4th National Convention where he called the EC’s Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, a ‘saboteur’ and described some policies of the Akufo-Addo Government as ‘discriminatory’.

    “To Charlotte Osei and others at the Electoral Commission, I say we will never forget your failed attempt to take away our freedom and our right to participate in the 2016 elections. We will never forget it. And yet to Charlotte Osei I say, you succeeded in sabotaging our campaign but in the end we still stand tall.

    “Never again should Charlotte Osei and people like her dare to circumvent the laws that put our institutions in office,” he raved as thousands of PPP delegates and supporters applauded him at the weekend at the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Conference Hall in Bolgatanga, the Upper East regional capital.

    He added: “All we ask is for equal opportunity for all Ghanaians. And so in this regard, I would like to say to our President [that] free SHS is good but it doesn’t go far enough. What Ghana needs is free, compulsory and continuous education from kindergarten to the end of senior high school. And the PPP will continue to push for it. And ‘One District One Factory’ is good. But it has not gone far enough. We need organised infrastructure, industrial estates with water, roads, electricity and tax breaks that make investments work. What we need are not isolated factories here and there.”

    Election of MMDCEs must happen before 2020 Elections— Dr. Nduom

    Themed “Election of MMDCEs for Rapid National Development”, the convention also saw Dr. Nduom slam government for promising Ghanaians it would do away with the appointment of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) so they would be elected but not fulfilling it yet.

    So awake to that yet-to-be-fulfilled promise are the supporters of the blazing-sun party that a symposium was dedicated to the theme on the eve of the convention, with the founder also announcing later at the convention that the election of MMDCEs “is nonnegotiable”.

    “For the PPP, this is something that is nonnegotiable. We cannot allow people in Accra to take the monies meant for the district assemblies, spend it in Accra according to Accra’s priorities. That should be a thing of the past. We want the people in the districts, the municipalities and the metropolitan areas to make their own decisions.

    “And as we always say, if the people are smart enough to cast their votes to elect an assembly member, if they are smart enough to cast their votes to elect an MP, if they are smart enough to cast their votes to elect a president, then they are certainly smart enough to cast their votes to elect their own District Chief Executives. This Nana Akufo-Addo promised [and] this promise he must deliver on. And we are not waiting till after 2020. This promise must be delivered before the 2020 election and it is specially and specifically in 2019. It is this that will signal growth and prosperity in Ghana,” he emphasised.

    Continuing, he said, “Every civilised society that is doing well, they elect their own mayors. Cape Town elect their mayors. Abidjan, they elect their mayors. Dakar’s mayor is elected, in Africa. London’s mayor is elected. New York’s mayor is elected. And so [are] the mayors in many, many, many prosperous countries in the world and they are the reasons why they do better than we do. We must put faith in the people to elect the president at the local level.”

    Appointment of MMDCEs does not guarantee re-election— Dr. Nduom

    He also cautioned Ghanaians against politicians who might want to justify the appointment of MMDCEs as the surest way for a ruling party to retain power. He said appointment of MMDCEs had never guaranteed re-election for any ruling party in Ghana.

    “There are some politicians who would say ‘but we need the DCEs and the assembly members to win election’. If that were to be the case, why the NDC lose the 2000 election? They had DCEs. Why the NDC lose the 2016 election? They had DCEs. And why the NPP lose the 2008 election? They had DCEs. So, let no one bring us some strange political reasons for retaining the appointment of DCEs,” Dr. Nduom warned.

    The majority of Ghanaians are deprived, not for the lack of resources, but as a result of failure to decentralise the local governance system, according to the PPP.

    “It is time for Ghanaians to take the power back from the centre in Accra and elect people of their own choice. So that it shouldn’t be up to somebody in Accra to say to the people of Elmina that ‘one district one dam’. We may not need a dam. We may need something else. And that decision must be made by the people of Elmina. The people in Keta may not need a dam. They may need sea defence. It should not be up to somebody in Accra to say this is what you need and not something else. They know what their local priorities are.

    “And indeed, the people in Bolgatanga, know what they need. They don’t need somebody from Accra to go and send someone with a political agenda to come to Bolgatanga to tell them what to do. That is why the people remain poor. Because we spend the monies in Accra. Whether you need wellington boots or not, somebody would buy you wellington boots— ‘give it to them’. Whether you need cocoa mass spraying or not, somebody says you need cocoa mass spraying. Let the people at the local level make their own decisions and you will see the development, the prosperity that will come at the local level everywhere in Ghana,” stressed Dr. Nduom.

    The astute business consultant also urged the youth in the party to available themselves of positions of responsibility in the party, adding “I am very, very confident that soon and very soon the Progressive People’s Party will enjoy victory”.