Over a thousand delegates of the United Progressive Party (UPP) drawn from the four corners of the country on Saturday endorsed Mr Akwasi Addai Odike as its first presidential aspirant for the 2016 elections.
Mr Odike was also endorsed as the National Chairman of the party which received its final certificate of formation from the electoral Commission (EC) just four months ago.
At the plush Golden Tulip hotel in Kumasi, Mr Odike who was full of confidence of winning the 2016 elections assured Ghanaians that he will model his administration after that of the late Col I. K. Acheampong, especially in the area of agriculture, support for Ghanaian engineers and artisans and accommodation provision.
He said under his administration, V8 Toyota Land cruisers will be sold to buy tractors for Ghanaian farmers to make Ghana self-sufficient in food production, add value to the primary produce and export them to save the falling cedi against the country’s major trading currencies.
He also stated that to attract the best brain to govern the country and eliminate the creeping culture of winner takes all, his administration would tap excellent members of all the political parties. This he said would offer Ghanaians the most effective and result-oriented government that will bring sustained development.
The well-organized congress which was very peaceful and attracted very young party followers was also used to introduce over 40 parliamentary aspirants who have an average age of about 30 years.
All the parliamentary aspirants had one message; to beat the NDC and NPP sitting MPs and work assiduously to ensure that Mr Odike wins the elections and form the next government.
Just before the introduction of the parliamentary aspirants, EC officials supervised the acclamation of the flag bearer and the national executive members. They were subsequently sworn in by the General Secretary of the party, Mr Razak Kojo Opoku.
They are: First National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Bashiru Zakari; Second National Vice Chairman, Nana Akwasi Prempeh; Third National Vice Chairman, Anane Kobo; General Secretary, Razak Kojo Opoku; National Treasurer, Emmanuel Adjei Akrong; National Organiser, Stephen Kwaku Saahene; National Youth Organizer, Gabriel Asamoah-Boakye and National Women Organiser, Nana Ama Serwaa Nyarko.
A new party campaign song was also launched.
Fraternal messages from the Progressive People’s Party and the Great Consolidated Popular Party were read at the congress
Mr Odike, who surprisingly called on the delegates to applaud him, said his administration would engender effectiveness, efficiency, adequate and reliable supply of water and electricity, promising also that a UPP government would privatise these two utility companies.
Mr Odike made it clear that to entrench decentralization and accountability at the local level, district, metropolitan and municipal chief executives would be elected, this he believe would make the DCEs accountable and respectful to the local people.
He also gave the assurance that his administration would not overspend its budgetary allocations as has been the case in recent times.
He announced that under his Urban Cocoa Planting Programme, every fertile land in Ghana would be used to cultivate cocoa as part of measures to put Ghana at its rightful place as the leading cocoa producing country in the world.
He assured Ghanaian farmers that they would be given some reprieve through appropriate mechanization of their work, according to him the back breaking manual work must give way to mechanization to yield more to give farmers adequate compensation for their hard work.