Thousands of supporters and party functionaries of the New Patriotic Party on Saturday thronged the Victoria Park in Cape Coast to participate in a mammoth rally organized by the Central Regional branch of the NPP.
It was on the theme: “The Clarion call, unity for the third successive term-victory 2008”.
Before the rally started at 16:00 hours, people from all walks of life including women and children dressed in party colours and T-shirts of the various presidential aspirants, danced to brass band music on the streets, causing heavy traffic.
Most walls and available space one could find were posted with pictures of some of the aspirants who were to attend the rally.
At exactly 16:00 hours the programme began and speaker after speaker especially Members of Parliament from the Region mounted the well-decorated dais to address the teaming crowd.
Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin South who set the ball rolling mounted the dais with a holy bible and asked the large gathering to endeavour to read Matthew chapter 12:25 when they got back home.
He called on the aspirants to educate their supporters not to engage in campaign of insults and other forms of abuses and pointed out that the candidates themselves were working together peacefully and cautioned that if they did not take care of what their supporters said or did on their behalf, it would bring trouble, confusion and division to the party and called on them not to say things that would divide the party.
Mr Agyapong urged the aspirants to rally their support behind the one who would be elected as the flag-bearer in the December congress and advised them to talk about issues and not gossip about their colleagues.
Six presidential aspirants, Mr Allan Kyerematen, Dr Boakye Agyarko, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Felix Owusu Agyeman and Professor Mike Oquaye, who addressed the crowd pledged to support and work with whoever would be elected at the December congress as the flag-bearer.
They also pledged to be civil in their campaigns and not engage in campaign of insults and called for unity among the rank and file to enable the party win in the crucial election next year.
Mr Peter Mac Manu, National Chairman of the party denied allegations that it was an individual from the NPP that declared the 2004 election results and stressed that that prerogative was left with the Electoral Commission and not any party.
He said the NPP was a growing party and that it would work harder to win the elections hands down, adding that it would continue to do peaceful and clean campaigns.
Mr Mac Manu said the party would ensure that the aspirant who would be elected as flag-bearer had the right qualities.
Nana Ohene Ntow, General Secretary, said it was only the NPP that had been able to break the culture of silence to ensure freedom of speech in the country and urged Ghanaians to vote for the party in 2008 election.
He said the NPP had never rigged any election and did not have the intention of doing such a thing in next year’s elections and stressed that Ghanaians would continue to vote for the party due to its good policies and programmes.
Nana Ato Arthur, Central Regional Minister, in his welcoming address commended the party executives for coming to the Region and pledged that the party would do everything possible to retain its 16 seats and possibly grab the rest of the three seats.
Other speakers at the rally were, Mrs Agnes Okudzeto, First Vice Chairman, Mrs Mary Adu Boahene, wife of the late Professor Albert Adu Boahene, Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Education Science and Sports and Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations.
A fund raising dinner dance was held at the Cape Coast Castle to raise about 2 billion cedis to support the campaigns of the party in the Region.
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