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NPP: The truth on Nana Akufo-Addo’s Houston Town Hall Meeting

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It has come to the attention of the Houston chapter of NPP-USA that our extremely well acclaimed town hall meeting which our 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo was kind enough to herald, has come under a dishonestly vicious attack by one B. B Nkrumah, an imposter claiming to be a Houston resident, but whom no one of repute knows.

We wish to state that the attack was filled with several bold faced lies which we shall expose with video evidence. Mr. B. B Nkrumah may have forgotten that the entire event was video recorded. Hence, we offer Mr. Nkrumah the opportunity to retract his vicious litany of lies.

We further wish to state that NPP-USA Houston Chapter is proud of organising what even some known NDC sympathizers have characterized as “an eye opening event.”

Our ancestors were very intelligent people. The adages that they left us bare so much resonance with the realities and occurrences today.

One of my favorites – “efie biara Mensah womu” or every household has a “Mensah” posits in a sense that there is always going to be that one character in a household who would go east when everyone is going west, sees a white cow when everyone is seeing a black sheep, and so on.

And so it is that at a town hall meeting by NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo with the Ghanaian community in Houston that received rave reviews, one “Mensah” called Nkrumah somehow saw and narrated a completely different episode.

Unfortunately, Mr. Nkrumah’s spin on events at that town hall meeting, if not corrected, has the potential of poisoning perceptions about an exceptional individual whom many have come to know and respect – a man who will become president of Ghana come January of 2013.

But to begin, we wish to point to the “mugging” that took place after Nana wowed the audience. For 20 minutes, he could not leave because he insisted that everyone who wanted to shake hands with him and take a picture got the opportunity to do so.

Throughout his weekend in Houston, Nana Akufo-Addo maintained this practice even in cases when he wanted to leave for another engagement but the crowd would not let him.

The preceding event to the town hall meeting was no different, and that caused Nana to be late. However, so impressive was Nana’s performance that he received a standing ovation after he answered the final question.

The town hall meeting began with prayers said by Evangelist Anane Sekyere. Then at the insistence of Nana Akufo-Addo, all persons who have played a leadership role in the Ghanaian community in Houston were recognised.

Thereafter, the Chairman of the Houston chapter of NPP-USA, Gyamfi Nkrumah welcomed the audience in a brief statement. After that, Nana Agyei Yeboah, Chairman of NPP-USA gave a rousing introduction of his presidential candidate who had to wait a few minutes for the ovation to die down before he could speak.

Nana Akufo-Addo began his speech by profusely apologising to the audience for his tardiness. This is on video, and it will prove that Mr. Nkrumah is simply lying when he writes that Nana Akufo-Addo did not apologise for his lateness. Next Nana politely asked the audience to join him in observing a minute’s silence to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the passing of Joseph Boakye Danquah who helped to build our nation.

Following the theme of the town hall meeting “Ghanaian Diasporan Role Beyond Remittances,” Nana called on Ghanaians abroad to look forward to an NPP administration that will be more inclusive of their acquired skills and talents than ever before.

When Nana Akufo-Addo began to speak about the Woyome scandal, Charles Biney stood up and began singing a new song about the scandal and succeeded in exciting the audience to join him. Nana Akufo-Addo paused his speech and allowed Mr. Biney to take the stage for about three minutes.

But considering that the event was already behind schedule, one member of the organising team walked up to him and persuaded him to sit down. We shall release video coverage to the entire world for Ghanaians to decide if Charles Biney was assaulted as Mr. Nkrumah claims.

The NPP Presidential Candidate went on to articulate his vision for Ghana touching on education, health, corruption, and a host of other areas. On education, his plan includes redefining basic education in Ghana to span Kindergarten to completion of Senior Secondary School and provision of free, quality and accessible Senior High School education to all our children.

He also reiterated the teacher first policy, adding the teacher will be empowered financially and equipped adequately to facilitate their work. Finally on education, Nana Akufo-Addo promised to revisit our curriculum to introduce more science subjects in recognition of the new energy economy that Ghana must now plan for.

On health, Nana Akufo-Addo promised to strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He recalled a passionate appeal by a young doctor for the government to rescue the NHIS.

The young doctor praised the program for encouraging patients to come forward earlier with their ailments, a practice that is allowing the physicians to do better at diagnosing their problems. But Nana Addo lamented how the current NDC administration appears to have abandoned the program to the point where the neglect is beginning to have a toll on the provision of health care.

But perhaps the most ingenious program that Nana Akufo-Addo unveiled was his plan to fight corruption. Noting that corruption costs our nation significant amounts of our resources, Nana announced his plan to use the young unemployed youth to serve as undercover anti-corruption agents. Under the plan, the one giving a bribe as well as the one accepting could be an undercover agent.

This culture of fear could go a long way to discourage the practice of accepting bribes to perform duties for which civil servants are paid. A simple cost/benefit analysis shows that the program would more than pay for itself.

After the speech, the moderator Jermaine Nkrumah laid down the rules guiding the question and answer session, which included a one-person-one-question provision, a prohibition from inserting too much statement into questions, and a call to make questions as concise as possible to allow for more questioners to have an opportunity.

Our “Mensah” was fortunate to be given the first question. Not only did it take him about three minutes to ask two questions, he inserted a long statement including his drive time to the venue before asking the questions.

Bent on answering as many questions as possible and determined to stick to the rules, Nana Akufo-Addo told the young man that he would abide by the rules and answer one of his questions and that he should select which one he wanted answered.

Again the video coverage will show the world if B. B Nkrumah’s question took 30 seconds or two minutes, and if his name sake the moderator “snatched” the microphone from him.

Apparently, Nana’s stance did not go down well with Mr. Nkrumah. In a scathing article, he twisted virtually all facts and portrayed a failed event heralded by a conceited candidate.

The fact remains that Nana Akufo-Addo was polite by all accounts. In fact, when one community leader Doe Ladzepo asked a question on oil revenue on which Nana did not have enough information to answer, he humbly asked that he be allowed time to study the issue so that he can issue an educated comment on it in the future.

The audience loved his honesty enough to give him a sustained applause for his candid response. Nana Akufo-Addo even recognised Aleric Seshie, a known NDC supporter for his civility in debating issues affecting Ghana, and made it a point to seek him and embrace him after the event.

Also in recognition of his lateness, Nana Akufo-Addo asked that the event be extended past the 6pm. The program actually ended at 6:45pm and he took another 15 minutes to interact with the audience after he left the podium.

These are facts that can be substantiated by video evidence and all who attended the highly successful town hall meeting. It is imperative that self-aggrandizement by certain individuals is not allowed to poison the reputation of our leaders.

Nana Akufo-Addo ended his weekend in Houston with a hugely successful town hall meeting at which he completely addressed all the issues.

It is time we stopped the character assassination of persons who have dedicated virtually their lives to service of our nation.

Signed NPP-USA Houston Chapter



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