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Last Thursday, the ears and eyes of the whole nation were focused on Nana Akufo-Addo’s Nima residence, where 165 journalists from 82 media houses gathered for the announcement on his political future. The news was straight and simple: “I thank the Almighty I am able to say that I feel spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and patriotically strong enough to remain in the hurly burly of frontline politics.

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With great humility, therefore, I can announce that when the party opens nominations sometime this year I shall be ready, God willing, to contest for the position of NPP presidential candidate for the 2016 general elections,” Nana Akufo-Addo said to deafening applause from party supporters and even from some of the journalists gathered.

But, what was difficult to miss, but perhaps did not register in the minds of many, was the big banner backdrop for the platform mounted for Nana Akufo-Addo, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Mrs Samira Bawumia.


Is this the campaign slogan for Akufo-Addo 2016? This was a question we posed to a close aide to the 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.

With a big smile, he said, whiles it is too early to say, the slogan definitely depicts the philosophy behind Akufo-Addo’s third bid for the presidency “because it represents what he seeks to do and what he believes needs to be done first in order to achieve it.”

First, according to the aide, Nana Akufo-Addo, as he made clear in his speech, has no desire to lead a divided battalion to the 2016 political battle for power.

“He believes we need unity to succeed. Ghanaians are yearning for a change in government but there has to be an attractive alternative and in order for the NPP to be that attractive alternative and appeal to the overwhelming number of voters it must be seen to be credible and that credibility comes from unity, candidate and message,” the aide said, adding, “We have the candidate. We will have the message. But, we need unity.”

Hence, the first part of the slogan, “Unity For Change”. The aide further explained, “We need unity within NPP for change in 2016. We also need to get Ghanaians united behind the clarion call for change. So the phrase ‘Unity for Change’ works for both internal unity and unity among the general electorate.”

He added, “But, the NPP does not want a change in government for the sake of it. Akufo-Addo has been consistent since 2008 that the biggest project before Ghana today is the structural transformation of the economy. It is obvious that a government, like the NDC, that cannot even give us electricity can not be trusted to transform the economy. So, Ghanaians must be made to know that it is the NPP that has the formula, the programme and the leadership to bring about the needed transformation. So, let us have change to transform.”

The aide said Akufo-Addo sees the job ahead as including a transformation in the way our children are educated, a transformation in the way the public service serves the people, a transformation in the way government spends public funds, especially a significant transformation in both the cost and quality of infrastructural projects. So, yes, we need to change government to transform our country. That is the task ahead and that is the message and that is the priority of an Akufo-Addo government, God willing.”

In conclusion, “UNITY FOR CHANGE… CHANGE TO TRANSFORM GHANA” may end up being the slogan for both Akufo-Addo’s NPP leadership campaign this year and the NPP’s 2016 campaign. But, the aide cautioned, slogans are not just imposed on a campaign, they must be proven to resonate on the ground. Sometimes they can directly emanate from the ground.

“What we can be sure of is, like I said, NPP must unite and be seen to be united and get he whole nation largely united behind the party to bring about that desired change in 2016 for an Akufo-Addo government to set the country on that needed transformation journey. I am hopeful,” the aide beamed with optimism.

Source: thestatesmanonline.com



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