Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kwesi Amakye says the twice-defeated presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is a spent force as far as running for the presidency is concerned.
“Ghanaians will not buy a seventy-plus-year-old [flagbearer]”, Mr. Amakye told XYZ Breakfast show host Moro Awudu on Tuesday September 3, 2013.
He asserted that: “Nana Addo’s days are over. Nana Addo’s days are over”.
Mr. Amakye’s reaction follows the NPP General Secretary’s comment in an interview with Radio XYZ’s flagship news programme Strict Proof on Monday that the former Attorney General will lead the NPP as presidential candidate for the third consecutive time.
69-year-old Nana Akufo-Addo, who turns 72 in 2016, lost the 2008 and 2012 elections to late President John Mills and current President John Mahama respectively.
He challenged the 2012 presidential results in court, alongside his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
The Supreme Court, however, upheld Mr. Mahama’s presidency as “valid”.
After conceding to President Mahama following the Supreme Court’s verdict, Nana Akufo-Addo announced he was taking a temporary time out of politics and would later announce his future plans.
The party’s General Secretary, also known as Sir John, nonetheless, insists Nana Akufo-Addo will lead the party in 2016, despite the latter’s silence on the matter.
When the host, Moro Awudu pressed him further on the age factor, with the fact that Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, is 89 yet still in power, Mr. Amakye’s response was: “Ghana doesn’t need any Mugabe, whether in government or in opposition”.
According to him, “age really takes away everything from a human being, whether Sir John likes it or not…”.
“…The time has come for Ghana to come to terms with itself and begin to use its youthful members of society”, Amakye suggested, adding that: “…There are a crop of politicians who have done what they have done. Their time has come and gone. It’s time for other people. [A] New generation of Ghanaians to also attempt to lead the nation. That time is here and now”.
He warned that the NPP risks being consigned to opposition for a long time if the party went ahead with Nana Akufo-Addo as presidential candidate for 2016.
He added: “…NPP can decide to put [forward] a seventy-plus-year-old candidate and that person will be rejected rigidly, first and foremost, on grounds of age”.
As far as he is concerned, “age takes a lot away and we know from politics around the world that when such people are in office, they end up being dictated to by several people behind the scene and that is not going to be encouraged in this country. Physically, they are just not able to work”.
He said presenting Nana Akufo-Addo as the presidential candidate “is not fair to the party; it’s not fair to others who will want to contest; it’s not fair to Nana Addo himself; it’s like a coup d’état”.
In Mr. Amakye’s estimation, it is too early to start talking about who leads the NPP into the 2016 elections.
He added that it will be “irrational” to go with Nana Addo again in 2016. They should be punished for it to stay in opposition once more if they do so.