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Ghana Votes 2012

 

Acceptance Speech by Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings as NDP Presidential Candidate at the NDP 1st National Delegates’ Convention

 

 
 

NDP: Choosing People Over Politics

 

Your Excellencies, The Chairman of the NDP, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Dear Delegates, Members of the NDP, Nananom, party supporters, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

 

Today is a bright day in our nation’s history. Today’s Congress represents the dawn of a new era and the launching of a new Party, the National Democratic Party – a Party born out of a need to transform our nation’s future now and put Ghana, our great nation, back on the right track.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know from personal experience that failure to reach a desired result is not the lack of success. No, because we cannot fail from the collective courage of trying. Rather, failure is staying down when you trip or stumble. It's giving up when your confidence is shaken. It’s shutting down when your character is tested.

When we stumble in life; when we come face-to-face with adversity, we can choose one of two paths: we can choose to become “bitter” and shut down or we can choose to become “braver” and press on!

Ladies and gentlemen, you know me. And you know I stand before you today because I have chosen the latter: to become BOLDER and BRAVER for YOU – the people of Ghana. I have chosen to stay the course. To not give up. And to adhere to the proverb that “Stumbling is not a fall, but a sign that we are going forward”.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we are, indeed, going forward – and any stumbling along the way is only a natural consequence of courageous activity. The only way to avoid a stumble is to do absolutely nothing. And to do nothing is not an option!

For those of you who know my track record, you know that I have never been one to back down in the face of difficulty or criticism. You know that I have never been one to settle and take the easy road out.I have never been one to do WHAT’S POPULAR OVER WHAT’S RIGHT to gain quick political points for personal gain. NO! That is not me and that’s NEVER been my style. Time and again, Ghanaians have seen me make tough decisions and difficult choices when easier ones were available. In the face of criticism (and personal attacks), I have taken on unpopular issues – that always put the concern for PEOPLE FIRST. Because I am – and always will be – guided by moral obligation to support the needs of the PEOPLE OVER the interest of POLITICS.

PEOPLE OVER POLITICS – that is what our Party stands for and that is what I stand for!

The NDP is founded on the belief of placing people, and the NEEDS of the ordinary Ghanaian, at the centre of our nations’ development.

 

This is what Our Party is calling for – we are calling for a return to the values of PEOPLE OVER POLITICS. This means reclaiming the meaning of a genuine citizens’ democracy, where the best ideas flow up from communities rather than being imposed by the ruling elite. PEOPLE OVER POLITICS means reclaiming the meaning of inclusive governance, starting from the grassroots. It means placing people (not politics) at the centre of our nation’s development. It means restoring our sense of common purpose, increasing transparency and accountability.

 

PEOPLE OVER POLITICS means empowering our youth (the future of our nation) and women (the backbone of our rural economy) through equal access to education, healthcare and expanding job creation to keep pace with our nation’s population growth.

Contrary to popular belief, I’ve learned over the years that our country’s greatest unexploited resource isn’t our oil fields or goldfields; it is the women and the youth who are denied an education and shut off from playing a major role in our formal economy. You see, women and youth are not the problem; they are the solution. And we must resist the politics of exclusion and inequality from every level of our society.

Our Party understands the art of participatory democracy, where everyone has a right to contribute to the development of our nation. And we hold true the ideals of J.J. Rawlings, who transformed the political paradigm of Ghana through the creation of governance that involves all levels of society. The National Democratic Party represents the legacy of our forebears and the promise of future generations.

 

At a critical time in our nation’s history, when women’s rights were not even close to being a part of our national agenda, I, along with other women, established a Women’s Movement to champion gender equality and women’s rights. In spite of criticism and personal attacks, I chose to engage in meaningful political activity at a time when women were confined to the expectations of managing the household, raising the children and supporting their husbands. I chose to speak out on public platforms when it was still unpopular for women to do so.

Ladies and Gentleman, progress is neither swift nor is it easy. It is gradual, and it begins with progressive leadership. Look around you. Restlessness, poverty, unemployment and discontent abound. And change – true transformative change – is the only thing that can bring about the progress we seek.

The National Democratic Party is not about me or any one individual. It is bigger than that. Our Party embodies the spirit and collective courage of all of US – the PEOPLE of Ghana – who believe that in order to combat poverty and underdevelopment and build a nation that creates equal opportunity for ALL, we must join hands to do the heavy lifting required to boldly confront the challenges facing our country today.

 God Bless Us All and God Bless our great nation Ghana. Thank you!