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Upper West Region Nana Akufo-Addo promises increased role for traditional authorites

The president elect was visiting the region as part of his thank you tour as he prepares to be sworn in on January 7,2017

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play Nana Akufo-Addo poses with members of the Upper West region House of Chiefs

The President-Elect of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has thanked the Chiefs and people of the Upper West Region for their massive show of support for him and for the NPP in this year’s elections, which saw the NPP increase its parliamentary seats from 0, in 2012, to 5 in 2016.

Addressing the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in Wa, on Saturday, December 24, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo revealed that the saddest day in his life was in December 2012, when he was told by Alhaji Abubakar Abdul Rahmanl, the NPP’s Upper West Regional Chairman, that the party had scored zero in the Upper West Region in the 2012 parliamentary election.

“I say the saddest day of my life because, as a son of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, I am fully aware that one of the founders of the tradition, the man who gave an example of selfless service to the people of our country, was no less a person than the late Duri Na, Chief S.D. Dombo. Indeed, our tradition bears his name as one of the initiators,” he said.

He continued, “Beyond him, there were others, B.K. Adama, Jato Kaleo, Na Abayifa Karbo, Mumuni DImbie. These were the great figures in the development of the United Party and, subsequently, the Progress Party. They were the founding pillars of the party of which I have the honour to be leading. Therefore to be told that the region from which they came had turned its back totally on our tradition gave me anguish and sadness that I can never describe. I was inconsolable.”

The President-Elect noted, however, that “fortunately, 2016 has now come to wipe away those tears and feeling of sadness. From 0, we have got to 5 out of 11. God willing, the next time, we will get the majority of seats and we will know that we are back again fully. It is a matter of great joy to express to the people of this region my satisfaction about the outcome of the election of 2016.”

To this end, Nana Akufo-Addo assured the traditional rulers of the Upper West Region that the commitments he made to the people of the Region, and to the entire Ghanaian populace, for that matter, in the course of the campaign for the presidency are commitments he intends to fulfill in every detail.

He reiterated his commitment to restructuring the Northern Development Authority, rechristened SADA by the current government, “back to the original concept that I mooted in 2008, and for it to become a genuine instrument of progress for the people of the three northern regions of the country.”

The President-Elect noted that there is absolutely no reason why Ghana’s neighbours, some which have less opportunity and resources than Ghana, are able to organize their agriculture successfully.

“To your north, next door neighbours to us, you know better than I do, what is happening in Burkina Faso. That, today, in Burkina Faso, they are organising year round agriculture. They are able to be an important exporter of food, vegetables to Europe, which is bringing money to their farmers and nation.

“We can do the same here in Ghana, with your support and the support of the people of the region. This is what is animating me, so that in Ghana also we can have all-year round farming that will lift the incomes of our farmers and produce food for our nation,” he added.

Specifically to the Chiefs of the region and across the country, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that he intends to work very closely with the traditional authorities in the country, so as to improve the governance of Ghana.

“There is still a gap in the formal constitutional structure of our democracy as far as the involvement of traditional rulers are concerned. It is my intention, with your co-operation and help, that immediately after the formal hand over of authority, members of my team will sit with traditional authorities around our country for us to restructure a more engaged and more involved form of governance in which the traditional authorities of our country will play a part. It will be a major boost to the quality of governance in our country,” he added.

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