Yaw Osafo-Maafo, a former Minister of Finance and a member of Nana Akufo-Addo’s Victory 2012 campaign team has urged delegates of the New Patriotic Party to take one big lesson from the National Democratic Congress – unity for victory.
Speaking to delegates at Agona Nwkanta on the second day of Akufo-Addo’s Western Regional tour, Mr. Osafo-Maafo used the opportunity to plead with all the 115,000 delegates who will vote on August 7 for the 2012 NPP Presidential Candidate to vote massively for Nana Akufo-Addo “to send a clear message to the country that the NPP is not divided.”
Mr. Osafo-Maafo said “the unity of the NPP must be clear to everybody after all the votes are counted and the winner declared. August 7 is the ultimate test of the unity that you and I know exists within our party.” The NPP should not joke with this, he warned.
“If there’s one thing that we should learn from 2008 then it is that unity is the basis for victory. Any victory on August 7 that is not landslide would not help our party.
We need to show with all our votes that the party is solidly behind Nana Akufo-Addo,” he said to large cheers from the Ahanta West constituency delegates.
“The NDC did so on December 21, 2006,” Mr Osafo-Maafo pointed to a recent experience from their arch rivals from which his party should, nevertheless, learn.
“There were four people competing, including the younger and taller Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Eddie Annan and Mahama Iddrisu. Prof. Mills got 1,362 out of the 1,673 valid votes cast.”
Unlike in 2007 when 17 people contested, not more than 5 candidates will be on the NPP ballot paper on August 7, offering the party a platform for a massive endorsement of the winner.
Having caught the fullest attention of the NPP delegates gathered, Mr Osafo-Maafo continued, “81.4% of NDC delegates voted for Prof Mills. His closes rival, Dr. Spio-Garbrah managed only 146 votes, 8.7%.”
It is recalled that leading to the 2006 NDC primary, media reports gave the impression that it was going to be a close contest between the two frontrunners with some even calling it for Dr. Spio-Garbrah.
Mr Osafo-Maafo reminded NPP delegates that all this happened after the problems of the previous year which saw the former NDC National Chairman, Dr. Obed Asamaoh and others, splitting from the NDC to form the Democratic Front Party.
“The 81.4% endorsement gave Mills the unified force and the moral authority with which to mobilise the NDC to fight the ruling NPP for victory in 2008. He showed that his party was solidly behind him then and we all saw the ruthless and painful effect of that in December 2008,” Mr Osafo-Maafo recalled.
“On August 7 let us send an even clearer message to the whole of Ghana that the NPP is indeed a united force, ready and deserving of power to serve the people of Ghana.”
He added, “A massive vote for Nana Akufo-Addo on August 7 will silent our critics, motivate our supporters and make us more attractive to undecided voters,” he said.
The former Finance Minister, who contested in the 2007 NPP presidential primary, gave first-hand testimony that Akufo-Addo is the candidate NPP delegates know they can trust on the important issue of unity.
“Nana has shown with consistency clear evidence from 1992 about his commitment and loyalty to party unity. He does not just talk the talk he walks the desire, too,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo stressed.
He said further, Akufo-Addo came second to Mr J A Kufuor in 1998 but got solidly behind Kufuor, went around the country pleading with his supporters to do the same and campaigned with Mr. Kufuor for that famous victory in 2000.
Again, Akufo-Addo more than showed in 2008 that he is committed to the party’s unity by inviting all the 16 people who competed against him to be part of his campaign committee. A move which some have even criticised him for.
Earlier in the Western Region, NPP MPs continued with their wholesale endorsement of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Paapa Owusu-Ankomah, MP for Sekondi, former presidential aspirant in 2007 and former Attorney-General gave his unflinching support to Akufo-Addo and asked his constituency delegates to do the same.
The MP for Amenfi East and former Western Regional Minister, Boahen Aidoo also endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo and has been travelling with Nana Akufo-Addo urging all constituencies to support the 2008 flagbearer, who is now nicknamed, Nana Ababio, for coming again to ask for their votes for another shot at the presidency.
The Victory2012 team left Ahanta West for Effia Kwesimintsim, Essikado Ketan and Tarkoradi.