SPEECH BY DR. PAPA KWESI NDUOM ON THE POLITICAL PLATFORM OF THE PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S PARTY AT THE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION HELD AT THE ACCRA SPORTS STADIUM ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As I look around this morning, I am happy and greatly encouraged. I can see that the Progressive People’s Party is here to stay and its future is very bright! I can see people from all the ten regions and 230 constituencies, 2012 Volunteers, members of the Movement for Social Justice, Groupe Nduom Volunteers and many, many groups represented here today. I can see the demographic character of Ghana reflected here – young, old, men and women. The National Committee says a big thank you to everyone for sacrificing your time to be here with us today. The PPP believes that public service is an honourable duty that should be performed with passion and vim. This National Convention has demonstrated our true character, strength and the depth of human capital that we are gathering in preparation for public service. The quality of the people we see here strengthens our resolve to contest the 2012 elections with a positive, progressive, different force not felt before in the Fourth Republic.
Indeed the Sun is shining today, as Reggae Master Bob Marley wrote.
“The Sun is shining
The weather is sweet
Make you want to move
Your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know y’all where I stand”
Our “remix” version is:
(The Sun is shining
Prosperity in peace
Awake, no sleeping
Redemption is near
To the rescue, PPP
Awake and Join Us, PPP!
The Sun is shining)
Today, the Ghanaian sun is shining on like-minded men and women from all over the country, to form a very focused, vibrant, independent-minded and progressive Political Movement. We aim to present a credible, united, disciplined and well-organised election machine that is coupled with a clear, specific Platform for Change Ghanaians can feel in their lives and in their pockets within four years.
We the progressives have a tall order before us and that is because our burning, bright red sun is throwing light on the problems of Ghanaian society and telling us to get to work with a sense of urgency to solve them. The PPP red sun is shining on homelessness. It is shining on poverty and disease. The sun is shining on lack of water and unstable power supply. The bright burning red sun is shining on poor education, road accidents and unemployment. It is shining bright on corruption!
We the progressives have a duty to respond to this call to bring incorruptible leadership into government to make Ghana great and strong. The PPP cannot sweep these problems under any carpet. We intend to work with a sense of urgency to liberate our people from these difficulties and produce positive results that are visible to each and every one of us.
Ours is a broad-based national progressive movement with people who have been crying for the “change we need” after experiencing less than fulfilling governance so far in the 4th Republic. We are a Progressive Political Movement guided by an agenda for change. The progress we are seeking is the one we will make together. It is this progress that will reinvent Ghana. This Movement will succeed because we aim to reinvent ourselves, our attitudes and our way of life as Ghanaians. The voices of the times have moved on and we have listened before gathering courage to stand before you today to speak to the nation.
I am pleased to present to you our Political Platform for the 2012 elections. Ours is a simple, yet powerful agenda. We are not going to produce a huge book of promises and call it a manifesto. Ghana already has the Directive Principles of State Policies in our Constitution. The PPP wants the opportunity to implement an Agenda for Change that is built on Stewardship, Education, Healthcare and Jobs. We will implement the Agenda using the spirit of inclusiveness that will enable us to use the best Ghanaians; full participation of women and the youth; and above all a leadership that is incorruptible. By dealing with corruption, we can double government revenue which we will use to pay for our transformational initiatives in education, healthcare and job creation.
The PPP will create a just and disciplined society with a passion for excellence within ten years and with science and technology as the cornerstone, become a higher level middle income country. This will include modernizing agriculture and providing a market to sustain our farmers and fishermen.
The PPP will reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them to facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general.
The PPP will work to change portions of the Constitution to enable the election of all District Assembly Members and District/Municipal/Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure local accountability and rapid development. This we will do in one term of office.
The PPP will work to change portions of the Constitution to abolish the provision that allows Ministers of State to also serve as Members of Parliament. We believe that this move will make available for governance a large pool of qualified, experienced Ghanaian talent whose expertise is currently unused and therefore lost to Ghana. This we will aim to complete in one term of office. Concurrent with this objective will be a solid determination to give Parliament the facilities and resources needed to pass good laws and scrutinize the proposals submitted by the Executive effectively.
The PPP will provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child. We will standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure free and compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including computer training). We will deploy an “Education Police” or “School Tankassi” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy. An integral part of this objective will be an objective to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills. This will include a comprehensive sports programme to instil discipline and promote better health.
The PPP will provide Energy for Industrialisation and Rapid Development. We will implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and domestic use and make Ghana a net exporter of power again in four years. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. We aim to ensure that the contribution from alternative sources of energy reaches a minimum of 10% of what we need in a decade. Harness our natural resources (particularly oil and gas) to ensure maximum benefit and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
The PPP will ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera and guinea worm. We believe that just like countries in Europe and elsewhere became malaria free, so can Ghana with the right leadership from PPP. We will ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key.
The PPP will attack crime, the drug trade and corruption aggressively using leadership by example, being modest in government, passing and implementing the Right to Information Bill and ensuring an independent prosecutor’s office exists separate from the Ministry of Justice. We will strengthen the Narcotics Control Board to make it the agency responsible for fighting the drug trade with all the human, financial and other resources needed for success. We will strengthen the Police Force by providing resources and training to fight crime.
The PPP will establish a Secretariat to cater for the needs of Ghanaians Abroad and the African Diaspora by June 30th 2013. Provide a support system to encourage re-entry, investment, safe and healthy vacations and transfer of knowledge and technology. Ensure full citizenship rights to Ghanaians Abroad so that they can vote and serve in public sector positions.
The PPP will use government’s purchasing power to ensure that we eat what we grow and use what we produce in Ghana. We will improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market. To accelerate job creation nationally, an inter-region highway will be built with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development.
We want to assure all Ghanaians that we will find the money to implement our programmes by strengthening our institutions so that we can fight corruption and give to government the monies that are going into private pockets.
We urge all who think and believe that Ghana deserves better leadership and the best government possible to join us now. If you are a teacher or nurse who believes that you can get your just reward right here on earth, join us. If you are a policeman, prison officer, fire service man or woman or soldier who needs better tools and technology to provide better service to the nation, join us. If you are a driver, a house help, a construction worker, join us for a more secure future. If you are a farmer or fisherman who is crying for help to make a better living, join us. If you are in the public service and in need of better motivation and equipment, join us. If you are in the private sector and need support from your government to grow your business, join us. If you are a Ghanaian who believes that our natural resources – gold, bauxite, manganese, diamond, oil and gas must benefit the Ghanaian now, join us. If you have supported the NDC, NPP and the other political parties and you now feel the need for an alternative, join us now. We are there for the Ghanaian. The Progressive People’s Party is there for you.
We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity and the culture of indiscipline. We will fight the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana.
Unlike the other Ghanaian political parties, we are not selling an ideological mission to the Ghanaian people. Ghanaians want food to eat, they want a home to live in, they want good health and safe roads, they want the best education for their children, and they want good jobs. We are bringing governance that will help Ghanaians meets these needs. We care about governance that works for all Ghanaian people. When the best individuals who can deliver results to the Ghanaian people are at the helm of this nation at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels, Ghana will achieve the transformation that has been denied Ghanaians for so long. Progressive, pragmatic leadership the type that focuses on education, job creation, industrialization, housing and dealing with preventive diseases will lead Ghana to Prosperity in Peace!
At this point, we would like to introduce to you some of our members who are aspiring to become parliamentary candidates for the PPP this year. We want them all to rise so we can acknowledge the wise choices they have made. The quality of our people, their dedication to duty and willingness to serve the people, I am sure, will soon become evident everywhere in Ghana. They will make our campaign this year vibrant, enthusiastic and successful.
The PPP will put many of its people in Parliament. At the same time, we hold the view that one does not need to have an affiliated seat in parliament to become President. We are governed by a presidential system and not a parliamentary system. It is the President who makes or doesn’t make things happen. That is why those who believe in this new direction should stress the personal comparison rather than party consideration.
The NPP and the NDC may be big established parties, but none of that translates into effective leadership. We wish to ask all voters to make a change by considering the experience and personal attributes we are offering and vote for the PPP to make the difference that they desire in their lives. Everywhere we go, our young men and women cry out for one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, what we can say to them in 2012 is, “Have no fear, “Edwumawura” is here!
A new future beckons but it will not come into being unless we make a break from the old way of doing things. The time for action is now.
Our experience in the 4th Republic has taught us is that we need a President who is by practical experience best suited for the job and who has demonstrated in his private life and in public service the ability to deliver positive results. I Papa Kwesi Nduom, “Edwumawura”, believe I am the person most suited for the position of President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013. We are confident that the majority of Ghanaians are ready to vote for the Progressive People’s Party. Ghanaians have a big choice to make in 2012 – stagnation or progress.
We know there are people who look upon us with skepticism. Some say we are wasting our time and our money. Well, in the Holy Book, the story is told about David and Goliath. Our faith tells us that little David used a smarter, wiser way to defeat giant Goliath. In Ghanaian politics there are two Goliaths. One is called NDC and the other one NPP. The PPP is the David in Ghana. We are asking Ghanaians to exercise their faith not just in church or in the mosque, but in daily living and give David PPP a chance!
So I ask all of you. Can the PPP defeat the NPP and the NDC? Yes we can. In Benin, candidate Yayi Boni came from nowhere to defeat the candidates put up by the so-called major parties in Benin to become President. Can the PPP come from “nowhere” to defeat the so-called major parties in Ghana? Yes we can. Not too long ago, candidate Michael Sata polled 3% of the presidential vote and his party won one seat in parliament. Today, he has become the President of Zambia. He did what some considered the impossible. Now I ask you, can the PPP do the impossible in Ghana in 2012? Yes we can!
Finally, we want to say emphatically, that no political party today has one vote in their pocket for the 2012. We all have zero, zero, zero – no votes. When the Electoral Commission opens its register on March 24th, we will encourage, educate and work with our people and supporters to go and register to vote. Over one million people are eligible to vote for the first time since the 2008 elections.
We are going to work, sacrifice and do whatever we need to do to win as many of them as possible to become our members and supporters. We encourage all Ghanaians to join our Progressive People’s Party now so that we can build the alternative that will bring the change we need.
Awake Ghana! A new day has arrived – the Sun is Shining!
God bless Ghana and may He shine His favour on the Progressive People’s Party.
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