I am not suggesting for a moment that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the twice failed presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is not qualified to lead this great nation, but at his age, he can only lead his party.
In fact, he may have one of the best resume to ever be submitted for the top job of his party, which is why every political watcher predicted him to beat John Agyekum Kufuor, in 1997 at the party’s primaries, but unfortunately he failed, because he was on an ego trip, unlike John Kufuor, who genuinely wanted to serve his nation.
In both the 2008 and 2012 elections, he was able to beat the favorite of former president Kufuor, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, yet went ahead to lose in both elections. I am not a prophet, but I think Alan Kyeremanten will be a better candidate than Nana Addo. Insult has become the portion of the NPP, since Nana Addo became it leader.
Nana Akufo-Addo has a breadth of experience that indicates that he has every capability needed to lead the NPP, but not to be president of Ghana.
But it is time for NPP to move on if it wants a candidate, who will deliver the presidency to them, they can have as many flagbearers in Nana Addo as they want, he is not cut for the top job of the land.
The ghost of our late President, John Evans Atta Mills, is one factor that is haunting Nana Addo.
When Mills died, he was telling Nana Addo that it was time for their generation, to hand over the baton of leadership to the next generation.
The death of president Mills meant that the generation that they represent has passed on the mantle of leadership to another generation.
Age is another factor aside generational that is against Nana Addo. Nana Addo would be 72, when he would raise his hand to take the oath of office as President. A year less than the year his father died. Nana Addo’s father died at the age of 73 on July 17, 1979.
He would perhaps be the oldest president in the history of this country. The pressures of the office amplify the afflictions of time. Arguably, an optimal president capable of delivering on their promises combines an earned wisdom and natural intellect with the residual energy of youth. No one is able to function properly by turning 72 during their first year as President, which would be the status Nana Addo will find himself.
Nana Addo might look healthy, at least that is what his supporters want us believe, despite his frequent trips to the United Kingdom, where he is said to be receiving medical treatment. The probabilities of elderly diseases for someone who will be 80 at the end of his term in office is very real and possible, we cannot pretend about it.
This might not even be a question of age, but an accumulation of years defines our range of capabilities, both physically and intellectually, and the NPP, as well as Nana Addo needs to confront a question that begs for answer, and that is whether a person in his early 70’s is the best person their party can produce. The obvious answer to me and many Ghanaians is a big no. so they can vote for him as many times as they want him to lead them in any election, this country does not need him.
Nana Addo, who is properly positioned with experience, has other challenges that impeded him from getting a chapter in future text books and in our Parliamentary hand sad as the first oldest constitutionally elected president in the history of this country.
It said that those who forget their past are doomed. History is going to guide us as we move forward. The country cannot be confronted with having to go through another moment of mourning a sitting president, as it happened in 2012 on that fateful day of July, 24, when death took away our President John Evans Atta Mills at the age of 68.
Running for President because it is expected, because your parent has said so, and it seems like an obvious choice or decisions are clearly not the right motivation. Ye nim wo fir titi, is not the reason why one must run for president, but because one has the temperament and the capacity, both intellectually, physically, emotionally and a strong character.
No serious country anywhere in the world desirous of developing and remaining competitive would elect somebody above the age of 70. This can only happen in Africa, where we think we can use yesterday’s solution to solve today’s problem.
My father, who is 72 years of age, only has one use for a mobile phone, and that is to make calls and receive calls. That was what his generation knew, was the use of telephone. He does not belong to the future and so is Nana Addo.
It is only in Africa that you find leaders who are above 70, some are even in their eighties, what good can somebody at that age be, except to think of death, because all or most of his or her mates have died. Funerals becomes the past time activity.
Anybody who has attain three scores and ten, has only one thing to live for and that is, how do I meet my maker when I die, not what can I contribute to advance the cause of his or her people. They live their last days on earth praying for forgiveness and praying for heaven.
I think as part of Constitutional amendment, we should be thinking of setting a ceiling on the age at which one can contest to be President. If the framers have found it prudent to put the age at which one is eligible to contest for the position of president at 45, why not set another age at which one cannot contest.
What informed the framers of the Constitution to set 70 as retirement age for Supreme Court Justices, as well as the Chief Justice, it is because at that age it is assumed that they cannot function properly, how much more someone who is the Commander of the Ghana Armed Forces, the number one citizen of the land.
This is not, however, a recommendation for Nana Addo not to contest or run away from a fight he is bound to always loose. He has proved that his political knuckles are toughened with the two losses, and he can skillfully marginalize absurd allegations from his opponents. Instead of running and winning a fierce campaign that will not guarantee him the presidency, there might be a more honorable and gentlemanly endeavor for a former Minister of State, two times flagbearer, you quit.
There is always a right moment to leave the stage, and failing to recognize that timing can lead to a lingering image that in the long run overwhelms the accomplishments of a person in the prime of their age.
Nana Addo can make a gracious exit. Yes, he has every right to run for president and is well qualified for the job. That does not mean, however, that he is the best person at this time in our live as a nation.