STATEMENT BY NANA AKUFO-ADDO, NPP 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON NPP AND ADAMS MAHAMA’S DEATH ON 29TH MAY, 2015, AT NPP PARTY HEADQUARTERS, ACCRA
Ladies and gentlemen, a week ago, there was a painful, horrendous and tragic death in the NPP family. The Chairman of our party in the Upper East region was murdered. The circumstances of the death of Chairman Adams Mahama have shaken our party and I daresay, our nation, to depths not normally reached in everyday discourse.
I admit freely to having been shaken to my inner core, and, thus, cut short my trip to Europe and returned home the very next day. It is a tragedy that I pray the Almighty would give us strength to deal with and spare us from a repetition ever again. The Adua prayers for Chairman Adams are scheduled for June 7th in Bolgatanga, and, until then, we remain in a state of mourning for our fallen colleague.
Since the tragedy, there has been an outbreak of a cacophony of voices within our party. There have been many cries from the heart by party loyalists and supporters and a sense of despair, felt by many, has been demonstrated in various ways. The regional chairmen have led the cry and they have been followed by other important, identifiable groups and individuals within the party. It was to be expected that the regional chairmen should lead the cry; after all, Chairman Adams was one of them. It is especially sad for our party that this tragedy should befall us right at the time, indeed the first time, that we have a group of regional chairmen who have developed such a great sense of brotherliness among themselves. It is not surprising, therefore, that they should consider an attack on one of them as an attack on all of them. Hopefully, this act of infamy should bind them even tighter together.
As I have tried to deal with my own personal loss and heartbreak, I have been listening to many people and taking on board the controversies and sentiments that have been generated. It is my responsibility as flag bearer to listen and, then, seek to do what is in the best interest of our party. Having heard so many people, my first call on all party members and supporters is to cease fire. The finger pointing, the name calling, the insults, the lies, the denigrating of past and current leaders must stop. They are to be roundly condemned. His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, 2nd President of the Fourth Republic, remains an icon of our party and nation, whose legacy we in the NPP must jealously guard. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from internal recriminations within the NPP except to provide fertile soil for our opponents.
It is unseemly and disrespectful towards the memory of Chairman Adams that such loud noises should continue within the party, whilst we are still in the official mourning period. A certain amount of outburst induced by the tragedy is understandable because of the extreme nature of the tragedy, but that should not mean that NPP members should behave out of character.
Now that many sections of the party have spoken and made their appeals, the party structures should take over and deal with the issues that have been raised. Meetings of the National Executive Committee, the body charged with responsibility for directing the affairs of the party and, then, the National Council, the highest decision making body of the party, except for the National Annual Delegates’ Conference, should be convened after the Adua prayers to resolve the issues that we face. I am confident that these bodies will act in the collective interest of the party.
None of us in the NPP should forget for one moment that we have an election to fight and win in 18 months’ time and that we are in the middle of selecting our parliamentary candidates for that purpose; none of us should forget the desperate state into which our nation has been plunged; and none of us should forget that the people of Ghana look to us to rescue our nation. We dare not jeopardize this sacred trust by fruitless internal strife. Chairman Adams was a passionate party man, he wanted and fought to make possible an NPP victory in 2016. Let us win it in his memory.
But, perhaps, most important for us immediately is the need for the law enforcement agencies to bring a quick resolution to the despicable, criminal act that took place in Bolgatanga a week ago. We note the professionalism so far displayed by them in their investigations.
We expect them to continue to do so and not to be influenced in any way by political pressure of any sort. I acknowledge and appreciate the sentiments expressed by the President of the Republic with the promise that justice will be done to Chairman Adams and we intend to hold him to that promise. It is unfortunate, but true, that criminal activities with political undertones in this country have tended not to be resolved satisfactorily.
The latest example of this is the shooting and killing of the Nkwanta South DCE some six months ago. It does not engender public confidence that, up to today, there has been no word on the investigations into that crime. We shall not be satisfied with anything less than the arrest and successful prosecution of the killers of Chairman Adams. There should be no ifs and buts.
Whilst we continue with the period of mourning for Chairman Adams and until the party’s governing bodies meet, I ask that we normalize things within our party. This means, for instance, that the officers of the party, the National Chairman and the General Secretary in particular, must have access to their offices at party headquarters and not be hindered in any way from being able to conduct their duties. The NPP way of doing things is to be guided by law and order and I ask that normalcy return to our headquarters and party offices. I ask that we extend mutual respect to each other and we listen to each other.
I will not tolerate chaos within our party. The recriminations against ourselves in this period of healing, I repeat, must stop. On the contrary, we should all embrace the laudable initiative of the National Women’s Organiser who is launching, as from this Sunday here at the party headquarters, a week of fasting and prayers for the welfare of the NPP.
I have no doubt that, with the help of Almighty God and by our collective determination, the storms that are currently buffeting the great, historic movement that the NPP represents will soon subside so that it can fulfil its mission of developing our nation in freedom.
The NPP is not the first party to face crisis and the NPP will not be the last party to come out of its crisis stronger. I want to assure you. I am confident of our capacity to overcome and we shall overcome.
Finally, I want to reassure all our members, supporters and the country at large that I remain focused on the main project of winning the election of 2016 and forming an NPP administration that will restore hope to our nation. We owe that to the long line of martyrs for freedom and justice in Ghana, and to the millions and millions of hardworking Ghanaians who have seen their efforts destroyed in a difficult, declining economy.
This nation deserves a competent, compassionate and honest government and we in the NPP have to provide it so that Ghana can go back to a bright future of progress and prosperity. We have no choice. Come, then, patriots of the NPP, let us stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in the cause of the NPP and make it happen for mother Ghana.
Let me end with a word from Holy Scripture and pardon me that I take the liberty of amending it slightly to make my point. Psalm 122, verses 6-8. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: Pray for the peace of the NPP, Pray for the peace of Ghana, May they prosper who love you. Peace be within our walls, Peace be within our homes and offices. Prosperity within our country and our communities. For the sake of my brethren and companions, for the sake of my colleagues in the NPP and in our country, I will now say, Peace be within us.
God bless the NPP! God bless Ghana! God bless Africa!