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General News
Apraku Bites Mills 4/12/2007
Dr. Kofi Konadu, former Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD, has hit hard at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, Prof. J.E.A Mills, describing him as a novice in politics with no record of winning a competitive election. Dr. Apraku, one of the contenders to the flagbearership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said the NDC presidential candidate was a technocrat with distinction in law, but lacking the experience to win elections.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, in Kumasi, as part of his official tour of the Ashanti Region, the former minister warned NPP delegates not to elect a flagbearer who would turn over power to Prof. Mills. “NPP cannot afford to turn over power that we struggled so long with tremendous sacrifices to win from the opposition to a novice; somebody who has never won even as assembly member before,” he said.

Dr. Apraku, who had already toured nine of the 10 regions of the country where he shared a message on the economy with delegates, defined the politician as a person who had won a competitive election at the district, constituency or parliamentary levels. He said as a professor with in-depth knowledge in economics, he had the capacity, experience and exposure to match Mills, who was as well a professor.

As President Kufuor’s constitutional term of office expires in 2008, Dr. Apraku, MP for Offinso North, said the NPP needed a candidate who had the political experience to really manage the successes already chalked by the party, consolidate them and move the party to the next level. According to him, electing Prof. Mills president, would yield no dividend for the economic prosperity of the nation.

Currently, Dr. Apraku was in the Ashanti Region to interact with party delegates, constituency executives and members of the council of elders to share with them the purpose of his intention vie for the flagbearership position of the party. He told journalists that he was touring the region to solicit the votes and support of delegates and to know at firsthand, what was happening in the constituencies. He said he had so far toured nine out of the country’s 10 regions to win the support of delegates to the forthcoming national delegates’ conference, where a flagbearer would be elected to lead the NPP in the 2008 presidential polls.

According to him, wherever he had gone, the delegates accepted him and his campaign team wholeheartedly, basically in recognition of his dedication, commitment and loyalty toward championing the cause of the party. He said he would stand out among his contenders if all candidates were assessed on the bases of commitment, dedication and loyal services to the party.

Since 1999, when he arrived in the country at the invitation of the late Professor Adu Boahen, the Offinso North MP said he had remained steadfast in working for the party. He said he had played a pioneering role in the formation of the Danquah-Busia Club in all the 10 regions of the country and that he was deeply involved in the processes leading to the formation of the NPP, serving on the committee that prepared the party’s constitution, manifesto as well as the selection of its symbol and party name.

These, he said, were done in the living room of Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing. Dr. Apraku appealed to delegates to elect him flagbearer of the NPP in view of his dedicated services, experience and clear vision, coupled with immense financial, academic and intellectual contributions to the party.

The former minister, who had contested the flagbearership position in 1999, but lost on grounds of young age, expressed optimism, pointing out that he had become fully experienced now. “My problem at that time was that many people thought that I was too young to be elected president and that I should go back and return at a later date.”

He said he underscored this critical point in view of the fact that today it had become fashionable for people to talk about greenness in politics, adding that youthfulness combined with maturity, experience and vision, was good. Dr. Apraku said although he, together with other contenders lost to President Kufuor, he had made an impact by winning the third slot. Currently, he said, his story was different, having gained enough experience, with a clear understanding of the Ghanaian economy.D. Guide

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