But Kwesi Amakye Declares Him Too Old, Too Weak To Rule Effectively
By Larry-Alans Dogbey
The twice defeated Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, who turns 70 years in six days from today, has finally announced, he would run for president for the third consecutive time in 2016, when he will be 72 years.
Nana Addo, who looks better placed to defeat his intra-party rival, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, will be going into the contest as the oldest presidential candidate in Ghana’s history.
Should he defeat incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo, will be celebrating his 73rd birthday inside the Flagstaff House on March 27, 2017; 79 days after taking the presidential oath at the Independence Square in Accra.
Additionally, Nana Addo will be ending his first term in office at age 76 and starting his second term as president days before he turns 77 and will leave office at age 80, should he win the 2016 elections.
But at a news conference in his Nima residence yesterday, the ex-Foreign Affairs Minister in the John Kufuor Government, addressed the age and health challenges which are likely to hit his candidature for the NPP slot, as well as the presidency.
He said, “I have asked questions of myself and of my body; I have seen my doctors both in Ghana and in the UK; I have examined my commitment and the fire that burns in my belly with the desire to lead Ghana.”
“I am humbled by the confidence reposed in me; and I am profoundly grateful that so many people want me to run even at the young age of 70.”
“With great humility therefore, I can announce that when the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready, God willing to contest for the position of NPP Flagbearer” he told a crowd of supporters, including Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the NPP National Chairman, Constituency and Regional Executives.
A Political Science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology (KNUST), Kwesi Amakye Boateng, in an interview with The Herald yesterday was saddened by the declaration of Nana Addo, saying he is too old and too weak to be President of Ghana.
He explained that Nana Addo as President at 73, would be too weak mentally to read, understand and act swiftly on documents that would be presented to him by his ministers, adding there will be a repeat of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills’ presidency in Ghana, should Nana Addo, win the 2016 election, because others will be ruling the country not him.
Mr. Amakye Boateng believes NPP members had deliberated plotted to push Nana Addo into their 2016 Presidential Election for their own selfish and sinister agenda.
The KNUST lecturer, advised all those interested in the presidential race of the NPP to bow out now to save the party, as the forthcoming Congress to elect a flagbearer will be acrimonious and dirty with Nana Addo in the race.
Nana Addo, had explained that he chose two careers where there’s no retirement age – law and politics, adding that he was fit in all aspects to remain in the hurly burly of frontline politics.
He expressed regret that he could not lead the party to victory in the two previous elections, adding “In spite of the disappointments of the last few years, I cannot ignore these calls.”
He said, after broad consultation with key party leaders and ordinary supporters, his wife and daughters, he had come to the conclusion that his decision is in the supreme interest of the opposition party.
Nana Addo attempted apologising for his “All-die-Be-Die” mantra saying, four decades in politics, he has made mistakes, said things he should not have said, tasted defeats as well as some successes like being part of the President John Kufuor ‘s government. He, however, did not plead for forgiveness.
“I have learnt a lot in my four decades in frontline politics. I continue to learn. I have made mistakes in my life, I have said things I could on hindsight have put better. I have tasted defeats and also chalked some successes. I have played my part to see multiparty democracy becoming entrenched in our nation. I was part of President Kufuor’s team that demonstrated to our people that a liberal democracy can deliver on laying the foundations for economic prosperity”.
It had been widely expected that he will seek his party’s nomination for the 2016 election, but he refrained from making any public comment on the matter, instead meeting opinion leaders including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei- Tutu II, the National Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu, Paramount Chief of Osu Traditional Area, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI and many others.
“I am proud of what I have done for the consolidation of democracy in Ghana,” the ex-Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said.
Nana Akufo-Addo said, he had had many calls on him to run and he couldn’t disappoint them.
“I am grateful to those who believe I can lead this great country,” he stated.
He said in his six months stay in London after taking a temporary bow of politics, he was in constant touch with Ghana, and had received text messages, phone calls, facebook messages and the calls were unanimous. He should return to lead the NPP in 2016.
“I cannot ignore these calls, especially when among those who are urging me to run are those who supported the candidature of others.
“…When the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready to contest,” he declared.
He said he chose two professions in life-law and politics- professions that did not require a retiring age and is ready to serve his party.
Meanwhile, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has hailed the decision of Nana Akufo-Addo to lead his party in the 2016 general elections.
According to the NDC, it will be another opportunity to defeat and politically retire Akufo-Addo in 2016.
General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia in an interview with CitiFM, described Nana’s announcement as “good news for the NDC”.
He said the NPP has made the 2016 campaign very easy for them, because Akufo-Addo is no threat to the NDC.
“We know how to beat him [Nana]; we will sharpen our campaign skills and give him a third time defeat” he stressed.
General Mosquito, as he is popularly called said, the NPP has done itself a great disservice by supporting an old man to lead them in 2019.
“In terms of age and energy to prosecute an effective campaign, we have a huge advantage over him. The NPP would have been better-off electing a younger person to lead the party in 2016”.
Asiedu Nketia was convinced Akufo-Addo will not be lucky in 2016, because “we have a great advantage over him”.