A flagbearer hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has called on the rank and file of the party to join hands in developing communication strategies that will unite the party under a straightforward message the electorate will buy into, to achieve victory in the 2024 general elections.
That, he indicated, had become important because the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) traditionally has challenges crafting positive campaign messages due to its lack of foundations in records of development.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto made the call when a group of farmers and friends presented to him nomination forms of the party’s presidential primary they had picked for him from the NPP headquarters, as a sign of support for his presidential ambition.
Reiterating that the NDC has no feasible and well-crafted campaign message, he said that’s why the NDC, led by flagbearer John Dramani, often resorts to a cacophony of propaganda intended for the ‘rural’ and ‘illiterate’ constituencies.
He said this is quite different from the clear-cut campaign messages of the NPP, from the time of Kufuor till date. “For instance, in 2020, if you looked at the NDC, you couldn’t even remember any campaign message. They didn’t have a single campaign message that would have attracted Ghanaians to say “let us give them a chance,” he indicated.
“On the other hand, we NPP had lots of messages on what we had done during the first term and were going to continue in adding on new projects and programmes… Although the morale is down, we will raise it to squarely face the NDC come 2024. Let’s campaign very well and, fortunately, we will impress the electorate and consequently ‘break the eight,” he stated.
The former Minister of Food and Agriculture also stressed that he had never sponsored any poll, urging those who doubt him to “find out who is sponsoring those polls”.
“If I sponsor a poll, I bet you, they will say that I am first, but I won’t, because it doesn’t serve any purpose,” he said.
He added: “We know what we are doing on the ground so all the polls in the world can say whatever they want. But, we are talking about the 900 people who will be voting in the super delegates and the 210,000 delegates who will be voting on the 4th of November, that is what matters. So I don’t know the bases.”
Dr. Afriyie Akoto further expressed the confidence that his strong base of supporters, who are farmers, will endorse him to lead the party into the 2024 general election.
He said based on his track record as the Minister of Food and Agriculture for five years, the farmers who are also the party delegates for the super and general congresses would reward him by voting for him to lead the party to victory in 2024.
He added: “I am very much prepared. I am going on my track record as Minister of Food and Agriculture for six years, during which time I injected interest in farming among the rank and file of the Ghanaian population”.
The former Member of Parliament for Kwadaso noted that a vote for him as flagbearer of the NPP, and subsequently as President of Ghana, will see him prioritizing the agriculture sector with public funds to generate more revenue to develop the country.
“I used to work with the UN system for 18 years, and I have worked around with all kinds of governments. I haven’t seen any government which has been able to develop its economy by borrowing, both locally and externally. It is always the generation of domestic production, and the alternative we have is agriculture production for export and domestic food security.
“So, it is the right thing to do, and it is something that I am going to preach to everybody that if I become the President of Ghana, this country will use most of its public resources to generate the capacity that agriculture has so that we can get more foreign exchange and local currency to finance the development of other sectors of the economy,” he stressed.
The former Minister of Food and Agriculture extended his appreciation to friends, party supporters, farmers of Ghana who have put their heads together to raise the necessary amount of money to purchase the nomination form at the party’s headquarters.
“I’m very proud and overwhelmed by confidence that you’ve shown in me. And I can assure you that I won’t let you down. We are going to campaign around the country to sell our message for the resuscitation of the NPP as a party.
“The morale is down but we will raise the morale to face the NPP come 2024. I would like to special thanks to the former NPP Chairman of Greater Accra, Mr Alfred Boye, who is leading my campaign here in Ghana. I also thank my Coordinators in all the 275 constituencies in the 16 regions for their fantastic job,” he added.
The spokesperson of the campaign team, Dr. Prince Amuzu, said Dr Akoto’s performance at the Ministry of Agriculture is enough reason to give him the nod as flagbearer of the NPP. He then urged all the party delegates to trust him by campaigning and voting massively for him to emerge as the flagbearer of the NPP and subsequently as President of the country.