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Carlos Ahenkorah

Carlos Ahenkorah certainly has the most colourful campaign in this part of the country since the electioneering process began. Everywhere you go, the name on the lips of the people is ‘Carlos.’
President of the Ghana Freight Forwarders Association (GIFF) Carlos Ahenkorah
, is candidate of New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Tema West parliamentary in the forthcoming general elections. In this interview, he speaks on his vision and strategies going into the election, declaring that his party will take over the country come December 7, this year.
Why are you in the race for Tema West parliamentary seat and what are your cardinal programmes?
For me, the poor infrastructural development of Tema West made me to join the race and I have come to turn things around. I believe that this time around, Tema West needs a technocrat and a visionary leader, a man who has the capacity to be able to generate all the deliverables in the zone. I have told people in Tema West that if I am elected and there is no significant progress within one year, I will resign and come back to my numerous businesses.
I believe that credible representation is offering and sacrificing one’s self in selfless service to the people by representing their true desire and in turn bringing governance closer to the people. By expressing my desire to be part of government, I want to continue contributing my quota to the development of my community. I believe that with a comprehensive plan, Tema West can be a better place to live for our children, women and visitors.10
What qualifies you to vie for the position?
Everybody is qualified but as far as I am concerned, I see myself as the best candidate that can give what the masses want. As a graduate you are qualified; even you are qualified as a secondary school graduate. But when you talk about performance, I am the man that can turn around things and represent the people well. It is all about managing people and resources effectively. I have run my enterprise successfully from zero position to a balance sheet of several millions. Without trying to throw competence through the window, I believe it is important to first of all state that God qualifies the called first. My educational background, my professional exposure and ability to relate directly with majority of Tema West having been part of the demographic makes me qualified to become the next parliamentarian representing Tema West.6
You have been the President of the Ghana Freight Forwarders Association (GIFF) and also a successful businessman, now you want to go to the Parliament, what is your own view of our democracy in Ghana?

Ghana has been stabilized for the past forty years and successfully elected a democratic government for six consecutive times. I entered into politics to ensure I am in a position of influence. Many a time, when parliamentarians enact laws you realize if they had a little bit of technical ability, the law coming out would have been refreshed with experienced information instead of theoretical knowledge which is mostly unworkable. A case point is the Ghana Shippers Authority’s “Advance Shipment Notification”, a law which took the president a stand down intervention to quench the hullabaloo that ensued when the Authority tried its implementation. Pilato once said, when the wise sit on the fence, the fool rules”.I think it’s time to give back to society what I have gotten from society.5
As a new entrant in politics, how prepared are you to confront this hegemony, knowing the kind of politics being practiced here in Ghana ?
Yes it is true the politics we play in Ghana is a bit rough with irresponsible outburst here and there, but I have psyched and toughened myself towards what is expected, though I pray it never gets to that.
Let us go to the name, Carlos, what does it mean and on the ground, we noticed young people are so passionate about you, how did you managed to captured their hearts?

Carlos is my nickname from my school days, it’s a Portuguese name and on being loved by the youths,
I appeal to the youth across the whole constituency. I have availed myself, been a good listener and as much as possible tried to get whatever they want done if I can. I have presented over hundred youths with job opportunities through my company.17
What are those things that you can say has given you joy to be in politics and how would you rate the activities of our politicians?

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Carlos Ahenkorah with Pleasures Magazine publisher Ola Babatunde and photo-journalist, Kingsley

To start with, what gives me that joy to be part of this political process is because I have the rare opportunity to impart lives, to sponsor bills that will bring development to my people. To be part of decision making that will add values to the lives of our people.
Concerning the activities of our politicians, all I would say is that, I am of the belief that our own involvement in politics should make the difference. We must know that there are a lot of problems confronting us as a nation and I want all of us to stand up so that our country can be a better place.
What is your vision and mission for Tema West?
Firstly, my mission is to formulate life-changing bills and lobby other parliamentarian to pass them into law in a quest to directly impact on the socio-economic wellbeing of the generality of the people irrespective of their tribe, language or religion.12
Second is to give the good people of Tema West a voice in the scheme of things; to end the obvious neglect and marginalization of the people and the places they call home or find their daily bread; to ensure that never again shall we only be a pool for voters during elections and then parasites when the time for development is being considered at the state level.
Third, is to attract Government presence to Tema West constituency; to articulate the need for the region to be accorded special status considering its size, huge population and the sorry state of gross neglect and under-development.
What is your take on the thinking in some quarters that the candidate rather than the party win elections?
That is where I stand. And that is why the party should be able to choose the right and credible candidate. If you choose a wrong candidate the people will revolt and vote for another party with the right candidate. That is why everything should be done based on level playing ground; that is key. Our party, NPP has a team of good candidates and we have come to lead the people to their promised land. We will take over the country by the Grace of God.
Can you in a clearer terms, define the kind of change you want to offer the good people of Tema West?
Tema West has been an NPP seat since the inception of the fourth republic. When we were in government, the MP at the time did so much for the constituency and that is exactly what I would emulate. Come December 7, I and Nana Addo are the winning team. The problems of this electoral area are multi faceted and I will tackle them head on when elected.
So what if Nana Addo didn’t become the president?
One of the attributes of an MP is to be a good lobbyist, hence if Nana Addo does not get to be president, which I very much doubt, the community would still develop but just not at the same pace it would should Nana Akuffo Addo be President.