A former Minister of Food and Agriculture and a flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has called on residents of Assin North to campaign vigorously for Charles Opoku, NPP’s parliamentary candidate for next week’s by-election.
He made the call when he visited the constituency on Wednesday to solicit votes for the party’s parliamentary candidate. The areas he visited included Assin Bereku, Assin Praso, Assin Asempaneye, Akenkanse, Akonfudi, Dansami, Assen Mempasem, Assin Kushia, Assin Senkyem, Assin Brofoyedu, Assin Juaso, Assin Breman, and Bediadua.
In all the areas, Dr. Akoto interacted with the people, and urged them to vote massively for Charles Opoku to enable him to lobby for more developmental projects for the communities.
He was accompanied by the candidate, National Chairman of the party, Stephen Ayensu Ntim; General Secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua; National Organizer, Henry Nana Boakye (Nana B); deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin; and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization & Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah.
The rest were the Campaign Chairman for the Afriyie Campaign Team and former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Alfred Boye; National Coordinator for the campaign, Peter Oteng Darko; Central Regional First Vice-Chairman of the party; Assin North NPP Constituency Chairman; District Chief Executive; Assin North, Cape-Coast Municipal Chief Executive; Assin-North constituency executives and several women organizers from the various Polling Stations in Assin North.
When the news hit the constituency that Dr. Afriyie Akoto was in town, and had started campaigning for Charles Opoku, some rice farmers in the district, numbering about 400, gathered themselves to meet him at the district capital, Assin Beraku, where they lauded him for positively impacting on their lives when he was the Minister of Food and Agriculture.
At this point, Dr. Akoto had no choice but to address the rice farmers at a nearby Catholic Church before continuing his campaign tour. He expressed his appreciation to the rice farmers for honouring him, and assured them of President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to supporting their activities.
The relationship between the rice farmers and Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto dates back to when he was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso and Ranking Member of the Food, Agriculture Cocoa Affairs Committee.
It was during one of their meetings that the then government, led by John Dramani Mahama, sent a proposal from the Korean Ambassador to Ghana to Parliament about a programme they had designed to study the economic potentials of the Central Region.
The said sponsorship programme by the Korean Government did not materialize due to little or no interest from then the Mahama government.
However, when the NPP, under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took over the political administration of the country from January 7, 2017, Dr. Akoto immediately reactivated the Korean government’s sponsorship deal.
Addressing the rice farmers, he said that when the Korean experts presented their report, they were of the view that the Central Region has the potential to produce enough rice to feed Ghana and West Africa in general.
“The NDC couldn’t implement the programme, despite the persistent reminders. So, when the NPP took over in 2017, I reactivated this deal by the Korean government, and that is why, today, we have a lot of you going into rice production here in Assin North District.
“The good news to what you are already enjoying is that President Akufo-Addo, together with the Korean Government, has initiated a move to import a lot of equipment and/or farm machinery to boost local rice production in the country. You are going to be the first beneficiaries of this project,” he assured.
He urged the rice farmers to continue to believe in the Akufo-Addo government by voting massively for Charles Opoku in the upcoming Tuesday, June 27, 2023, by-election.