The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, once again, reiterated his commitment to the setting up of a special fund aimed at enhancing infrastructural development in Zongo communities and improving the lives of their residents, when, God-willing, he is elected President of the Republic, in spite of attempts by the ruling NDC to discredit the policy.
According to him, the Zongo Development Fund, which he first announced in the 2012 campaign to tackle the deprived nature of the Zongos, will be an integral part of the party’s 2016 manifesto, and will be established if, God-willing, he is given the mandate to serve the people of Ghana from January 2017.
Nana Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, February 15, when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief Imam of the Western Region, Alhaji Ustaz Aliu Hassan, at his residence in Sekondi.
He noted that the fund forms part a holistic policy approach aimed at tackling the deprived nature of the Zongos, something which has never been done in Ghana’s history.
The NPP flagbearer was, therefore, not surprised that ruling NDC government had, once again, embarked on an aggressive campaign to discredit this policy, just as the party did when the NPP proposed the setting up of the Northern Development Authority and the Free SHS policy, in 2008 and in 2012 respectively.
It will be recalled when Nana Akufo-Addo suggested the idea of Northern Development Authority and Northern Development Fund in 2008, then NDC vice presidential candidate, John Mahama laughed at it, and stated that Nana Akufo-Addo should use monies for the fund to pay the debts of VRA.
Again, when the NPP mooted the Free SHS policy, the NDC indicated that this was unachievable, and only intended to win votes for the NPP and destroy Ghana’s education at the end, only for President Mahama to try to implement the policy.
In this regard, Nana Akufo-Addo urged the gathering present at the Chief Imam’s residence not to pay heed to the NDC, stressing that they had shown over their 8 years in office to have no plans or policies for the development of the country.
On the cancellation of the allowances paid to Arabic tutors across the country by the NDC government, Nana Akufo-Addo assured that just as allowances were paid under the NPP government led by President Kufuor, “when you entrust the resources of this nation under my care, these allowances will be restored.
“The Zongo community has a special place in my heart. I am resident in Nima, and I know at firsthand the difficulties of Zongo communities in Ghana, and in office, I will carry out this pledge to the letter,” he added.
Touching on the unfortunate incidents that occurred in Old Tafo, the NPP leader noted that it was a source of worry for many well-meaning Ghanaians, as well as for the NPP, and a development which must never occur again.
He assured Alhaji Ustaz Hassan that he has an unwavering commitment to Ghana as a secular state that protects the rights of all its citizens to worship and subscribe to the religion of their choice.
“I stand for peaceful co-existence between Christians and Moslems, which we have known for several centuries in Ghana. We must continue this tradition,” he added.
In concluding, Nana Akufo-Addo appealed for the support of the Zongo community in Sekondi for the NPP in the November elections.
“Traditionally, Zongo communities have not supported the NPP. But this year, we are here to appeal for your support and your vote. We want all Zongo communities across the country to support the NPP, and help push the party to victory,” he added.
To the Chief Imam, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that “When you pray to Almighty Allah, please say a prayer for the peace of the nation. Pray that Allah guides the EC, so that a level playing field is created for all the political parties so that the final results will be readily accepted by all. Also, please say a prayer for me. Ask Allah to give me wisdom, strength and a compassionate heart to be a good leader, so I can work for the progress and prosperity of our country”.
Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied by the acting NPP National Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay; 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament and NPP MP for Essikadu Ketan, Hon. Joe Ghartey; former presidential aspirant and former Minister of Trade and PSIs under President Kufuor, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; former presidential aspirant and former Minister of Information under President Kufuor, Stephen Asamoah Boateng; MP for Mampong and former presidential aspirant, Hon. Francis Addai Nimo; former NPP Minister and currently MP for Sekondi, Hon. Papa Owusu Ankomah; NPP National Women’s Organiser, Otiko Afisa Djaba; Deputy National Women’s Organisers, Hajia Sawudatu and Diana Karikari; NPP Regional 2nd Vice Chairman, Francis Ndede Siah; Hon. Kobby Okyere Darko Mensah, MP for Takoradi; Hon. Joseph Cudjoe, MP for Effia; Hon. Joe Badu Ansah, MP for Kwesimintsim; NPP Parliamentary Candidates for Sekondi, Shama, Ahanta West and Tarkwa Nsuaem, Andrew Mercer, Ato Panford, Kojo Kum and Mireku Duker, respectively; Charles Bissue, NPP Regional Secretary; Abdul Ganiyu, NPP Regional Organiser; Campaign Aides, Mawusi Nudekor Awity, Na Paga Sulemana Tia, Justice Newton Abeiku Offei; amongst others.