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KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HON. ING. FRANCIS ADDAI-NIMOH
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AS CANDIDATE FOR FLAG BEARER
OF THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY,
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2023
AT PRESBY HALL, OSU-ACCRA
Mr. Chairman, Fellow Ghanaians, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, Invited Guests and Friends, Fellow Members of our great Party – the New Patriotic Party. Allow me to start by conveying my warmth, along with new year greetings to you all, and to thank you immensely for your presence at this important forum. Thank you for kindly answering my invitation!
As we say, “there is a time or a season for new occurrences that appear under the sun”. So today is a special time that has come, routed in my life journey – a time to share with you my political aspirations – aspirations dedicated to serving and to improving the lives of all Ghanaians.
But, as we all know, and as they say – “the devil is in the details”. So I personally think it’s important to present today’s details clearly. Without clarity, there’s always a risk of generating wild headlines and baseless generalities that may spark harmful divisiveness and polarization, as we have seen happen at times in other countries.
As you’ll come to learn, my leadership is about uniting our amazing energies throughout the entire country. It’s about bringing together our individual experiences and inspirations, while also respecting the many differences in our Party. We want to foster inclusivity – not divisiveness.
This is why it’s important that I share with you, exactly – and through you, to the world – the aspirations and characteristics I consider are required of the next leader who will be entrusted with the helm of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). A new leader who will serve the nation, along with a renewed governance model needed to serve all Ghanaians in the best possible way in these changing times.
POLITICAL DECISION 2024 GHANA AT CROSSROADS
As most of you may know, our country goes to the polls in twenty-two (22) months to elect the Members of a new Parliament and the next President of Ghana. With a clear focus on the December 2024 elections, it’s important to re-echoe the “mantra”of the New Patriotic Party, which we hope will resonate with all Ghanaians: “Break the 8!”. Surely, we can and we shall break these generally unimpressive eight year cycles!
We know that the National Democratic Congress will preach and promote the maintenance of the status quo, seeking their turn at all cost – with the main reason being to grab power. … Or, on the other hand, could there be a surprise-emergence of a third political force? This is quite unlikely in my opinion.
The situation, therefore, places the minds of voters – the undecided in particular, at the crossroads in their political decision in this next election. Some voters have even emotionally declared that they may choose not to exercise their civic responsibility in December 2024. But I believe that the proposed program we have carefully crafted over the last year to truly serve the country, which I’m announcing today on behalf of our growing team of talented and truly caring individuals, from all regions throughout Ghana, will tip the scale in favour of the NPP!
This program we’re proposing today will indeed incite the people of Ghana to “break the 8 – year political cycle” that we’ve been subjected to between the NPP and NDC since 1993. Life is not a game, and politics should not, as such, be played as if it were a power-grab game. My growing team and I are committed to making every Ghanaian proud for having exercised the appropriate choice for leader in these “particular” times!
The 2024 elections, while it is primarily a Ghanaian affair, will also signal to the world how consolidated and lasting our democratic experiment truly is! It is for this reason that I urge all stakeholders – mindful groups as well as individuals – to approach the 2024 milestone with a mindset of peace, dissipating any accumulated bile acrimonies and unhealthy rancour. I am particularly focused on the task at hand, and I believe in on our abilities as a people to pass the test. Together we shall prove that we have the innovative spirit within our Party to serve our beloved country once again!
There is no denying of that fact, as things have been standing till now, that either the NPP or the NDC may be poised to win the 2024 elections. However, with today’s announcement, as you will see over the next few months, we are fuelling a growing movement that is calling for a robust NPP leadership that will renew the party – a renewal that lead the country on a trajectory of prosperity for all!
We want to be well-positioned to gain the trust of voters in the next national election. As a highly motivated and well-organized team, we believe that we have what it takes to break the 8-year jinx which has punctuated and – in retrospect – that occasionally brought unnecessary difficulties that have impacted the country in our electoral history since the onset of the fourth Republic.
The NDC, on the other hand, has sufficiently communicated its readiness to simply “snatch” power come 2024, with no clear and viable ideas as to how to make each Ghanaian attain a better life.
Clearly, the battle lines have been drawn between the NPP and the NDC. This leads me to ask “the” question: CAN THE NPP, IN FACT, “BREAK THE 8” AND BE AWARDED A NEW MANDATE?
My straight-forward answer – not to quote any other outstanding leaders, is a big YES! – YES WE CAN! – YES IT IS INDEED POSSIBLE! But this, my friends, is contingent upon three (3) main conditions, which we need to satisfy to “Break the 8”:
- First and foremost is toensure internal unity within our party. This means providing all members a reason to feel “at home” and to be proud to be part of our renewed Party. This, my friends, will maximize our strength for the political task at hand for 2024. To achieve this, I urge all regional leaders and party officers in various positions to foster unity amongst the rank and file of our party members. We can certainly learn from the lessons of certain painful outcomes we experienced with the 2008, 2012 and 2020 elections, which frankly caused our party to suffer as a result of disunity.
To win the trust of Ghanaians, every National Officer is encouraged to lead by fostering unity!
- Second, improving and consolidating the performance of the current NPP-led Government. Indeed, the Government’s performance, in my opinion, is the main deciding factor in the minds and hearts of Ghanaian voters. It has a huge impact on the outcome of elections, again as we witnessed this in the 2000, 2008 and 2016 general elections. I therefore strongly encourage the Akufo-Addo led administration to work relentlessly to address the most pressing socio-economic challenges that are now caging the country.
- And the third condition is to allow all NPP delegates to assess each aspirant, in order to select the most-suitable person to lead the Party forward as its Presidential Candidate. It is therefore critical that the selection process be duly respected. More on this point later.
Given these three (3) conditions, we have come to the conclusion that a roadblock would be inadvertently created for ourselves, as a party, if the NPP delegates decide to choose a face that recognisably may be caught in the so-called “fatigue web”.
The question has been brought up on a number of occasions: “Would not the best solution here be a “fresh, new face”, a face that nonetheless brings the needed experience and maturity within both the private and public sectors, while also beaming with hope and enthusiastic energy to serve the Ghanaian people? In my opinion, the prevailing circumstances of the Party now require a new face as the next Presidential Candidate. “The New Face to Win the 2023 NPP flag bearer election!”
Mr. Chairman, before proceeding further, it is very important to point out the principal characteristics that the “New Face to Win” must possess. These characteristics will generate vibrant enthusiasm with the rank and file members of the Party. We are all poised for the revival, for the revitalization and for the rejuvenation of the NPP, and thereby enabling us together to ‘break the 8”.
I hope you can agree with me that these characteristics should include – to the very least:
- Being a natural unifier.
- Having an unblemished character and a history of service.
- Bringing new energy and a fresh appeal to successfully harness the challenging times and opportunities ahead.
Mr. Chairman, a fractured party cannot win in 2024! It’s therefore crucial for all members to choose a candidate who is an unrelentless unifier – a leader who is not trapped in any factional exchanges! It is indeed disheartening to note that certain factions have been emerging for some time now in our Party. And I’m not afraid to say this loud and clear: these factions, over time, are a phenomenon has seeped in and that frankly has no place in our Party. Simply put, such factions driven by political can only cause a devastating erosion of our relevance in the eyes of electors, who may then seek solutions elsewhere. These factions, stemming essentially from a herd mentality, are reprehensible and ought to be discouraged if we seek to be appealing once again to Ghanaians.
It is therefore fundamental, to put it mildly, to dissipate all attempts that spark baseless factional fires ahead of 2024. This, in my view, must be addressed and resolved as a priority. Unifying our members with an appealing program will ensure that each contribution under this flag is welcomed and celebrated. I would therefore invite all members of our Party to spearhead these efforts to help develop a sustained unity, which will then enable us all, as a renewed Party, to achieve great things together for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
So, to summarize, most importantly, we need a new wave, a new face, a face that represents a genuine movement that provides hope for those members who may have been disgruntled within the Party – we need a leader who can re-energise the grassroots for the arduous task of “breaking the 8”!
I think that by now many of you may be itching to hear a formal announcement as to who this candidate could possibly be. Let me throw the question back to you, my distinguished viewers and guests here today: If we agree that the minimal standards enumerated above are essential for winning 2024, that they are essential to “break the 8”, who then would you think this candidate could and should be, amongst all those who have shown interest to lead the Party?
THE CASE FOR HON. ING. ADDAI-NIMOH
In seeking to designate the flag bearer of the Party, and then to have this leader seek to win the trust of Ghanaians as President of Ghana – and please excuse me for seeming to be slightly “professorial” at this important point – but before you actually entrust such a responsibility upon an individual to lead our movement, may I suggest that each delegate ask the following three (3) fundamental questions:
- Is the Candidate legally and constitutionally qualified for such a position?
- Is the Candidate morally fit for such a position?
- Is the Candidate physically and mentally sound for such a position, while having the experience and maturity to truly and efficiently serve the best interests of each Ghanaian?
In twi, we can say: “wo se, wo fata, na wo b3tumi ay3?”
I am humbled that my esteemed team has assessed my qualifications and motivations using these three criteria. Driven by my personal conviction, also confident that my values and my professional background can be useful in shaping the necessary initiatives that will significantly improve our country, and coupled with the clarion call I’ve been receiving over these last years from our Party’s rank and file, and hearing from the wide consultations and sound advice from the elders of our Party:
I have thereby decided and am hereby officially announcing my candidacy to be elected the next flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party in the impending contest.
As you may know, this adventure is not novel to me. In 2014, when I made my first attempt to be the NPP flag bearer, I came in 3rd. I recall how I combed through the nukes and crannies of this wonderful country, meeting many amazing people. Even though I did not win that time, I nonetheless had been given the opportunity to sponsor many orphan constituencies and volunteer groups – especially in the Volta region amongst others, and to help ensure the NPP was awarded the presidency in 2016. Although I was somewhat sidelined in the appointments of the current NPP-led government of President Akufo Addo, I’ve remained loyal to our Party’s cause to which I have been dedicated since its inception.
It is worth noting that every success story has a failure portion or component so as to somehow make it complete – wouldn’t you say so? Domestically, the political life stories of Agyekum Kufuor, of Atta Mills and of Nana Addo are shining examples to me. Internationally, Barack Obama’s political life story is also a source of personal motivation.
So allow me to share with you my vision for NPP as we move forward together: having carefully thought through the critical next steps. I promise four (4) things that I shall commit to throughout the mandate when elected:
- I will continue to be an effective “results-oriented” unifier, while upholding and applying the values of Justice, of Mercy and of Honesty to support the rank-and-file members of the Party.
- I will ensure that resources are fairly and equitably distributed among the rank and file of the Party, thereby encouraging wide participation and contribution of members to the renewal of the party.
- I will ensure the construction of party offices in every constituency where there is none to date.
- I will establish viable economic ventures in every constituency enabling them each to generate sustained income.
SOCIO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS FOR GHANA UNDER MY WATCH
As written by the leader of Dubai, Sheik Al Maktoum, in his famous book titled “Flashes of Thought”, “Life was created simple and it is important to live it as such”.
One of basic functions of the government is to contribute to enabling its citizens in achieving satisfactory levels of happiness. This becomes possible by applying simple solutions to our relatively simple problems without adding layers of bureaucratic complexity when it’s possible.
Here’s something worth considering: certain socio-economic challenges confronting our country are actually indeed relatively simple, and therefore their solutions ought to be simple as well. However, people in positions of authority, knowingly or unintentionally, may often refrain from solving problems with simplicity. This can be due to self-inflicted pain lurking in our public organizations, that may result from personal greed, selfishness, arrogance, ego – you name it. Then organizations tend to resort to inducing artificially complex solutions. Insightful leadership knows this and can help make things simple and easily manageable in all public organizations. And this would help generate significant time and financial savings. This fundamental approach is part of our plan.
Mr. Chairman, at this juncture, because tangible details, as I mentioned earlier, are important for the electors to consider, I would like to outline my 7-point policy development strategy for our beloved country. For want of time, I shall only highlight the broad plans here today, but a comprehensive set of communications detailing each point shall be made available over the next few months. I also invite you, as always Ladies and Gentlemen, to send me your questions, which I’ll be pleased to address for the benefit of all.
My proposed 7-points program for the nation, with each point complementing each other as you’ll note, are as follows:
- Agriculture and Food Security
As a basic human requirement, access to healthy foods and clean water must be always available and affordable. We will significantly improve fresh water and sanitation systems for the benefit of all, while also encouraging productive approaches to agriculture in various sectors, making these government initiatives conducive to achieve food security throughout the country.
Our Ghanaian soil and our climatic conditions could and should sustain most – if not all – of our domestic food requirements, while also generating additional wealth through strategically targeted exports. It’s a matter of smartly organizing and facilitating productive processes to deliver on this promise.
We shall systematically reverse our net-import dependence on food by ensuring the establishments of private-public sector partnerships. This will ensure that our farmers may produce sufficient volumes of all food crops adapted to our agro-climatic conditions.
The Government, under my watch, will make available critical information and resources to support this goal, while also facilitating access to international markets. No one in Ghana should ever again have go to bed, to school or to work hungry!
Although basic and high school education for all children is essential, as are Ghana’s fine universities, the development of technical, vocational and skills-training programs will also be a priority. Indeed, hands-on applications have become a major requirement throughout the country to fuel its development. This will enable us to ensure our economic growth – without overly relying on foreign aid and influence.
An Addai-Nimoh-led Government will provide the required support, in coordination with the regions, to link educational programs with local manpower requirements. This will particularly help develop privately-owned small and medium scale enterprises. Science and technology will also take its rightful place at the core of our educational system.
Healthy citizens who study and work in a sustained manner, contribute to happiness among one another in their communities. This also contributes to local and national productivity.
The Government will assume its responsibility in helping Ghanaians to maintain and improve their health. We will do this by ensuring that high-quality health care services are accessible and affordable for all nation-wide, while working to reduce health risks.
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
All hands are invited on deck in our common pursuit towards nation-building. Every person of working age must have available to her or to him the opportunity to secure employment or to develop thriving enterprises, and thereby to contribute to national productivity. Together, let’s make this happen. We will bring in carefully crafted and coordinated policies, with tailor-made educational programs, making available the appropriate resources, along with efficient transport and communications, so that every Ghanaian will be able to work and uplift Ghana – whether you wish to work in your native area or seek other avenues within the country.
- Enhancing our national and regional Infrastructure
Another priority for my Government, if I’m elected, will be to dedicate investments throughout every region in Ghana. This will enhance connectivity for all, particularly in two sectors:
- Transportation: improving roadway networks and rail systems (including support for vehicle electrification) to ease the movement of people and the transportation of goods.
- Telecommunications: In partnership with the private sector, we will establish infrastructure that provides overall telecommunications bandwidth accessible to the end-user throughout Ghana. You can see how this will enhance possibilities for education, telehealth, business, access government services, and improve personal and professional communications that significantly improve productivity.
Infrastructure development will also encourage the private sector to develop a wide variety of industrial, commercial and hospitality facilities, which will result in accelerated growth in tourism.
- Fundamental restructuring of governance for transparency, and major improvements to public service culture and structures to reduce complexities.
We respect and believe in the people who hold delegated authority to run organizations that serve Ghanaians in all socio-economic sectors. In this regard, we commit to an organizational reform placed at the centre of decision-making that will bring increasingly useful services to the people of Ghana. This will also reduce the concentration of power at the executive level.
This efficient devolution of decision-making, combined with a proper separation of power (as espoused by the French social commentator and political thinker Montesquieu) and, most importantly, eradicating the abuse of power by those individuals attempting to enrich themselves in our governance system!
With an effectively functioning governance system, we believe that development and other consequences of good governance will logically follow. And through a thoughtful rehaul of the public sector, which also includes the reduction of complex red-tape, we envisage an overall cost-efficient and results-oriented public service.
The principles of the Science of Public Administration, as espoused by former American President, Mr Wildrow Wilson, will be applied with a particular focus on reinventing government where it’s relevant to do so. “If it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it”. The intent here is to enable all Ghanaians and private sector corporations across the country to find practical ways thrive and flourish, with government supporting – not impeding – the fulfillment of their actual potential for growth.
An Addai-Nimoh-led administration will carry out national budgeting from First Principles. We will no longer fall into the trap of following usual incremental approaches to budgeting that blindly occurs annually repeatedly over and over again. All local and foreign partners will appreciate being able to play on the field where the budget choices are realistic. Our government will assemble suggested inputs from various public consultations throughout the country to help achieve a balanced and intelligent budget.
And finally, an equally critical element:
Public Accountability, through scrutiny and regular reporting, will be conducted by competent independent bodies. This will provide the bedrock to ensure the optimal and responsible use of the nation’s scarce public resources. It will also curb their deliberate waste – which has unfortunately been known to result, here and there, in poor organization or unethical schemes. Probity and accountability will be at the core of an Addai-Nimoh-led government.
On a side-note, I can now also share with you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that there is an 8th point which is being currently designed to stimulate the economy nationally and internationally. During the campaign, I’ll be in a position to announce developments of these proposed policies and initiatives, for your consideration and comments. These policies will most likely be inspiring, as we move forward together on our path leading to the selection of our Party’s flag bearer – our Party’s candidate for the 2024 presidential campaign.
ENSURING FREE, FAIR & TRANSPARENT FLAG BEARER CONTEST
Mr. Chairman, one of the core values of the New Patriotic Party is to uphold democratic principles – whether internal or external to the Party. With this comes the responsibility to ensure a healthy and fair competition in the selection of Party officers at all levels of the NPP structure.
In this regard, allow me to suggest – respectfully, although strongly – that it is paramount that every NPP entity involved in the selection of the leader ensure the conduct of Free, Fair and Transparent Flag bearer elections throughout the entire span of the contest. I’m talking here about the National Council, National Council of Elders, National Executive Committee, Regional Executive Committees and Constituency Executive Committees. The Party’s constitution provides time frames to deliver fair elections, and it is important that we fully comply with these timeline provisions.
One area which can and should be improved is the possible Special College Election – should it become part of the process. It’s essential to remind ourselves that the objective of the Special College Election is to shortlist the number of nominees to five (5). It is NOT intended to elect or predict the eventual winner of the main flag bearer election through informal processes.
Let’s remember that the Party experienced this process only once in its history, in the 2014 flag bearer election. When the Special College Election was indeed required, in retrospect, certain important lessons were learned from that ordeal.
I will therefore be submitting a formal resolution to the Party executive in the near future to ensure that the rules allow every delegate to the Special College Election to select their respective five (5) nominees directly on the ballot paper, concurrently with the Party’s general election process.
In practical terms, campaigning should be allowed for 6 months, to the very least, which is in accordance with the Party’s constitution. So if we do require this exceptional stage this year in the elections process, the adjusted procedure we propose would certainly be useful, cost-effective and time saving while also ensuring a fair process.
And while we’re on the subject of improving the election process, may I also caution in the presence of this wide audience that the particular provision in the Party’s Constitution which allows the National Executive Committee to make amends to it should not be used to create favouritism in the process. Such initiatives could lead to fomenting disquiet and divisiveness which we are actually seeking to dissipate. The Party’s fortunes in 2024 and beyond depend on our vigilance. Good governance for the nation starts here, with our Party’s own good governance!
Simply put, Mr Chairman, a free, fair, transparent flag bearer contest must be ensured and be seem as devoid of any undemocratic tendencies and vices.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I formally serve notice here today that I am Ready, Able and Willing to lead the Party as Flagbearer and to humbly serve our beloved country as President.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, allow me to emphasize that our country and our Party, the NPP, needs a fresh new face and audacious leadership objectives that will propel us all into a more prosperous future.
This is the direction our movement has termed for this leadership campaign, and I accept the challenge: A New Face enabling the NPP to “break the 8”. Indeed, by electing a leader who is determined to do what it takes for all Ghanaians to live up to their full potential! This fresh energy ought to come from within the Party, and the gentleman before you is prepared to answer this call. It takes the decisive will of the ordinary people for this change to happen, and surely, together we shall succeed! Together, let’s break the 8! Let’s make it happen!
Long Live the Media!
Long Live New Patriotic Party!
Long Live Ghana!
Thank you – and see you along our campaign trail together!
- Let’s Break the 8!