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General News
Jake quits office to pursue presidential ambition 6/23/2007
Accra, June 22, GNA - Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Diasporean Relations, on Friday announced his resignation as a Minister to enable him to pursue his presidential ambition. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, one of the several Ministers who have declared their intention to contest for the presidential slot of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Elections 2008, thanked members of the Tourism Press Corps and individuals who supported him during his tenure as Minister of Tourism and Diasporean Relations. "Address me as the Former Minister of Tourism", he told a hurriedly convened press conference at the Ministry.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was the Campaign Manager of then candidate John Agyekum Kufuor, expressed belief that he was cut for the job of a president of Ghana because of his background and the experiences he had had both in his ministerial life and his private life as a private sector person. "At every stage in a person''s life there are challenges to deal with. The biggest challenge in a baby''s life is to learn how to walk but when one grows there are several challenges that he faces." Mr Obetseibi-Lamptey was the first Chief of Staff of President Kufuor. Later in a Cabinet reshuffle, he was made Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs before moving to the Ministry of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City which was changed to Ministry of Tourism and Diasporean Relations.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said he thought the biggest challenge for the Government now was youth unemployment, which, he added, he was in a better position to help to solve. "With my background as a private sector person, who at one point employed over 400 people, I can help to deal with the youth unemployment situation in the country." Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said he was also knowledgeable about the employment avenues, especially in the tourism sector, where he had been Minister for the four past years. "I am the person whose background is ideal for the presidency", Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey stressed. He said he was still very positive that the tourism sector would grow, especially with the introduction of the "Joseph Project".

"I will be there as an observer when the project is launched; and where necessary share my experiences with people," he said. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said he was now set to embark on a full campaigning trail to solicit support from the delegates for his presidential ambitions. It is not clear whether President Kufuor has received the letter of resignation and accepted it. There are some eight Cabinet Ministers, who have declared their intention to contest for the presidential candidature of NPP.

The others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Allan Kyermaten; Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang; Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah; Minister of Communications, Prof. Mike Ocquaye; Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufour and Mr Felix Owusu-Agyapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and The Majority Leader in Parliament. President Kufuor is said to have given them an ultimatum to resign or be replaced. Under the NPP''s Constitution, Ministers, who are contesting the position of a flagbearer of the Party must resign their portfolio. There is a packed field of some 20 people, who have been campaigning to win votes of the Party''s delegates when they meet to make a choice in December.Source:

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