Business and commercial activity came to a complete standstill in the Ashiaman constituency when the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, May 18, visited the constituency, ending the first phase of his 4-day tour of the Greater Accra Region.
With news filtering into the constituency of his arrival, Nana Akufo-Addo was met by thousands of residents who lined the principal streets of Ashiaman to catch a glimpse of the NPP flagbearer and listen to his message of hope ahead of the conduct of this year’s election, amidst chants of “Nana oo Nana”, “W?n chake mi”.
In the company of the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Alhaji Labarran Yakubu, the NPP flagbearer visited key areas in the constituency such as Old Turaku, Fitter Line, Asikafuo Ambantem, and Dagomba line, where he interacted with an array of persons, including, residents, market women, small business owners, artisans, and hundreds of unemployed young men and women.
In an area predominantly occupied by business owners, Old Turaku was Nana Akufo-Addo’s first port of call. With business owners complaining about unfavourable economic conditions prevailing in the country, which has resulted in collapsed businesses, job cuts and loss of income for several families, the clarion call by the business owners was for a change in government so they could have relief.
The NPP flagbearer, on his part, acknowledged the difficult conditions facing Ghanaian businesses under the Mahama government, assuring that his an Akufo-Addo government, God-willing from January 2017, will make Ghana work again.
“Business are collapsing, there is hardship everywhere and the Ghanaian is suffering. But we can change this. I am asking for your vote, so we can change Ghana and bring jobs for our unemployed youth. For you, business owners, a change in government will also mean an opportunity for your businesses to be revived, to generate wealth and jobs for the people. Ghana, a land filled with an abundance of human and natural resources, was not destined to be a poor country. We can do something about our circumstances, and that can only come about when I have your vote,” he said.
At Fitter Line, the main hub for artisans in the constituency, Nana Akufo-Addo used the opportunity of his visit to diffuse NDC-led propaganda about him.
“I know you have heard all kinds of things about Akufo-Addo here. They say this, they say that. All they say about me is not true. You are seeing me here for yourself. Here I am, a small man with a big heart for Ghana”, a statement which was met with a rousing applause from the artisans gathered there.
Nana Akufo-Addo urged the thousands of artisans in the vicinity to also “look at the NPP this year. We are coming to do a job for Ghana and not for any particular group, so we bring work, business opportunities, and employment for the young people of Ghana. That is the NPP plan.”
To the hundreds of youth still unemployed in the constituency, Nana Akufo-Addo recounted his experience in Germany, three years ago, where he witnessed at firsthand the German Apprenticeship scheme. This scheme, he indicated, will be replicated in Ghana when the electorate entrust him with their mandate.
“They have a system called the ‘Dual System, which combines apprenticeship and schooling. The Germans give young people the opportunity to go to school and work with big companies at the same time. This helps them to gain skills and also work with their hands. I am bringing this system to Ghana so the young people can the relevant skills for work,” he reassured.
In order to bring these plans to fruition, the NPP flagbearer appealed to the youth to give the NPP a chance in this year’s election.
“I need the chance. It is you who have the power to give me that chance. This year I am asking you to lend me your thumb. Support me and vote for Alhaji Yakubu to be your MP. He is one of you and he will speak for you in Parliament so the right things are done for you,” he urged.
The NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Alhaji Labarran Yakubu, assured the NPP flagbearer that Ghanaians will see “the true votes from Ashiaman this year. All the results in previous years have been as a result of the NDC rigging the election in this constituency. We will not countenance that this year.”
Nana Akufo-Addo rounded off his tour of the constituency with visits to Asikafuo Ambantem and Dagomba line, where he reiterated his message of hope for the transformation of the country, aimed at returning Ghana back onto the path of progress and prosperity.