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Akufo-Addo: I’m not a tribal bigot

Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said when elected as president of Ghana in the November 7 polls, he will work for the entire country, not for a selected tribe or ethnic group.

“There are all kinds of people in Ghana – Ewes, Ashanti, Gas, Dagartis, Mamprusis, Grunshis, Dagombas, amongst others. We are all one people. I am coming to do a job for every Ghanaian, not for Ashantis, Gas, Ewes, Dagombas or Akyems. I am asking you to trust me, and to have confidence in me. I am not coming to cheat anybody. I am coming to put all my energies to work for Ghana and not to steal people’s monies into my pocket,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.

He noted that there are all manner of tribal propaganda being waged against him by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) purposely for political gains, but “I don’t buy this propaganda. We are all one people in Ghana. Some people need to make this propaganda for their politics. We are one people in Ghana and we will stay as one people in Ghana.”

The three-time flagbearer was speaking at a town hall-like meeting with some members of the Ewe community in the Fitter Line area of Ashaiman, on Wednesday May 18.

When asked by Togbe Afari, the Chief of the community, the kind of policies he has for the community if elected as president, Nana Addo noted that two main policy initiatives, which will be undertaken by his government will affect all parts of the country, including the Volta Region.

“We are going to concentrate on two main things when you give us your mandate, which is how to develop our industry and develop our agriculture. These are the two main things we will put our energies in,” he said.

In order to boost production in Ghana, the NPP flagbearer explained that “import duties on raw materials will be scrapped. Import duties on manufacturing equipment will come in at zero rate, so that we can strengthen our industries and production. That is how we are going to bring jobs to young people.”

On agriculture, Nana Akufo-Addo referred to the boom taking place in Cote d’Ivoire, where exports of 5 major cash crops earn the country $12 billion, whereas the value of Ghanaian agricultural exports earn Ghana a mere $2 billion, largely dependent on the export of cocoa.

“If we want to better these statistics, we need to focus on diversifying our agriculture to include cash crops like cotton, coffee, cashew, oil palm and maize in our exports. We will ensure marketing boards and a guaranteed price for all these cash crops so we boost agricultural production. The Volta Region will benefit from what I am saying,” he said.

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