Konadu Pushes For Nana  

Dr Josiah Aryeh (left) in a interaction with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at his residence yesterday

Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings yesterday stretched a hand of collaboration to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic party (NPP), in an effort to ‘salvage the country from the critical stage in which it finds itself today’.

She said this through a high-powered delegation she dispatched to Nana Akufo-Addo at his Nima residence yesterday morning.

‘We are here to congratulate you and to send a message that the nation is in a critical stage although not on edge,’ she said through Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Dr Josiah Aryeh, who led the delegation.

Nana Konadu and the NDP, of which she is leader, find in Nana Akufo-Addo a person who can change the fortunes of the country optimally, the former First Lady’s emissary said.

‘We believe that, in you we can have the sort of leadership that we need for that change. We are in danger of falling into the pits of kakistocracy and I think that we here are too level-headed, broad-minded and open-minded to allow these things to go on,’ Dr Aryeh said on behalf of Nana Konadu.

Ghanaians who voted for John Mahama must have regretted doing so, he said, pointing out that ‘in 2016 we want to stand shoulder to shoulder with all like-minded Ghanaians to ensure that Ghana gets the best.’

Dr Aryeh pledged the full co-operation of the NDP ahead of the 2016 general elections.

According to the NDP Chairman, Ghana is in a ‘critical stage’ and he is hopeful that under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, the change Ghanaians are desperately yearning for will manifest.

The NDP Chairman said, ‘I believe that Ghanaians have learnt each time we go through the electoral cycle. We bear the pain of those we think ought to be there (leading us) but aren’t there and this time around (in 2016), we want to make sure that we stand shoulder to shoulder, with all like-minded Ghanaians, to ensure that Ghana gets the best.’

The former First Lady, who was scheduled to meet the 2016 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as leader of the NDP to congratulate him and discuss matters of common political interest with him, became indisposed at the eleventh hour.

The delegation represented, spoke on her behalf and stretched a hand of solidarity to the unclenched hand of the NPP leader.

‘At your discretion, we would stand shoulder to shoulder with you’ to work towards a necessary change that this country needs now, they noted.

Nana Akufo-Addo was supported by top NPP personalities in receiving the delegation.

Upon his enquiry as to the objective of the mission, Dr Aryeh said they had been sent by Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings to come and congratulate him on his election as flagbearer of the NPP.

The NDP presented a written communiqué about their dreams for the country and how to collaborate towards the goal of a better Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo in his response expressed gratitude to his guests, especially Nana Konadu, who he said continues to be relevant in local politics.

He spoke about the abundant potential of the country and how these can be galvanised for the good of all.

‘I am not asking people to leave their political parties to join the NPP but to collaborate with us in changing the fortunes of the country,’ he said.

‘We would make time to share ideas in a purposeful manner,’ he told his guests.

Supporting Nana Akufo-Addo were some national officers such as Sammy Awuku, National Youth Organiser, John Boadu, National Organiser, Otiko Afisa Djaba, National Women’s Organiser and Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffuor.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’ emissaries were made up of Dr Josiah Aryeh, Hayford Amoako, General Secretary of the party, Gaisie, Director of Operations, Ernest Owusu Bempah, Ms Yaa Edusei and Alhaji Frimpong.

Later in an interview with the media, Dr Josiah Aryeh said what the country needs today is not election winners but those who can manage the economy.

For the past many years he said he has not found those qualities in those at the helm, adding that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) did not receive the stretched hand of collaboration from the NDP.

Poor Handling Of Workers’ Pensions
Nana Akufo-Addo described as worrying, the manner in which the John Mahama-led NDC government is handling pension funds of Ghanaian workers.

According to Akufo-Addo, the current dispute surrounding the tier-two pension funds is the result of the ‘opaque manner in which these matters are being dealt with’ by the NDC government.

‘It is something very worrying for all of us, especially for us in the party (NPP), because we were the ones that put in place the legislation governing the whole pension structure,’ he stressed.

It will be recalled that in 2008, the NPP, under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor, enacted the National Pensions Act (Act 766) to ensure that every Ghanaian worker, including the majority in the informal sector, after retiring, would be entitled to a pension.

The NPP government, at the time, knowing fully-well that pension from SSNIT was not enough, through Act 766, introduced the tier-two system which requires a 5.5% deduction of monthly salaries, which are to be managed by private fund managers.

In view of the poor nature of government’s handling of this issue, Nana Akufo-Addo shared the concerns of Ghanaian workers and urged all stakeholders to ‘work together to get a good deal for the working people of our country.’

 By A.R. Gomda

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