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Africa

Vote for change, says Ghana opposition leader at final election campaign rally

media NPP supporter waits in anticipation for the arrival of Nana Akufo-Addo, Accra, 4 December 2016.

The main opposition candidate in Ghana’s elections, Nana Akufo-Addo, held his final campaign rally in the capital Accra on Sunday telling thousands of his supporters that real change is coming. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader is taking on incumbent President John Dramani Mahama, making his third bid for the presidency in Wednesday’s polls.

“For past three years I’m still at home depending on my parents for survival, I should be employed,” NPP supporter Kobi told RFI at the campaign rally. He trained as a nurse but has been unable to find a job, deciding that Akufo-Addo offers the best prospects for employment.

Radio report

Ghana’s economy and job creation have been high on the agenda during the campaign for the country’s 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections. Addressing his supporters at Accra’s Trade Fair Park, Akufo-Addo, speaking in Ga, Twi and English said that if elected he would establish a factory in each district to aid job creation.

Akufo-Addo said incumbent Mahama had mishandled the economy and was responsible for the fall in economic growth. Allegations of corruption levelled at Mahama’s government has also been a key feature on the campaign trail for the NPP and some swing voters at the rally are using it as justification for changing their allegiance.

“I know that it was a mistake voting for Mahama, he has stolen our money, he has eaten our money, Ghana is suffering,” said Mubarak, who works as a beautician. He voted for Mahama in 2012 but in 2016 will cast his ballot for the opposition challenger.

Stilt walker dressed in NPP colours wanders around Trade Fair Park.

The rally was dominated by high-ranking members of the NPP addressing supporters as well as musicians taking to the stage and religious leaders praying for Akufo-Addo’s victory. Former Ghanaian president John Kufuor, who served from 2000 until the end of 2008, also made an appearance throwing his support behind the aspirant.

Akufo-Addo’s speech was greeted by deafening blasts of vuvuzela. He touched on various policies including free high school education, provision of health insurance and adult training. However, not all NPP supporters are making their decision on the basis of policy.

“I like him, he’s a nice man, I like the way he is, that’s all,” said first-time voter Wendy, explaining that she likes his personality, his leadership qualities and humbleness. “He wants to do a lot for Ghana,” she added.

Vuvuzelas were very popular at the NPP rally.

A life-size effigy of an elephant, the NPP’s mascot, was paraded around Trade Fair Park while two drones hovered overhead capturing images for a live broadcast of proceedings. It was dark by the time Akufo-Addo took to the stage and fireworks were fired into the night sky.

Mahama’s National Democratic Congress party holds its final rally at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday.

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