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Friday, August 6, 2010

Age argument is moot - Nana Akufo-Addo

Nana Addo hopeful of clinching a one-touch victory Saturday
Nana Addo hopeful of clinching a one-touch victory Saturday
Lead contender in the New Patriotic Party’s flag-bearership race, Nana Akufo-Addo has said the argument of youthfulness versus age is based on a false parameter and assumption.

He said there are countless examples of very energetic so called old people just as there are examples of laziness in old people, and there are uncountable examples of very lazy young people and yet there are examples of very energetic young individuals.

For him, age and height cannot and should not be the basis for the selection of the leader of any institution. “Every argument that is made about things which have really nothing to do with the quality of political leadership, you can find an example. There have been extremely successful old political leaders and there have been extremely successful young political leaders,” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah.

Nana Addo’s main contender, Alan Kyerematen has been touting his credentials as a younger candidate, but Nana says, just as there are young leaders – often cited by Alan to back his argument – in some parts of the world, there are equally good so-called old leaders in various parts of the world.

“For myself, I don’t think that that argument ever has a chance of really succeeding as a first political weapon because at the end of the day, what people are looking at, is the quality of leadership that you offer. Are you somebody who is capable of responding to the demands of the time and being able to mobilize people behind the project that you represent as a political leader? I believe that those are the perennial questions of politics.”

Grounding his arguments, Nana Addo said the “oldest first time president in our history is Prof. Mills – the person climbing to the presidency at that age – he has appointed the youngest cabinet in the history of the Fourth Republic and probably of our country. What do you say about that?

Nana Akufo-Addo said the argument of age is a moot one. “I think that those are not the matters really that clinch arguments one way or another. And I believe that on the round, they are never the issues, the issues are always the same – your record, your capacity, your ability, how people respond to you, your capacity for mobilisation, for being able to set out and articulate the concerns of your fellowship, your ability to defend those concerns. I think those are all the matters that go into the mix of what is called political leadership. They are very much more important enduring qualities, much important qualities in analyzing people’s capabilities than the mere question of age.”

The 2008 flag-bearer of the NPP, said throughout his campaign, the most enthusiastic support base for him, have been the youth. “There are many, many young people out there who are extremely enthusiastic about me and my record and what I represent in Ghanaian politics. I tend not to think that there are such simplistic responses and attitudes towards political leadership.”

Nana Addo said he was relying on the belief of the over 113,000 delegates in his ability to provide quality leadership to bring the party to power in 2012.

He is convinced that tomorrow’s primary will produce a clear winner in him but adds that “I have never been of the view that if I don’t win, it means that the house will come tumbling down or that if you go into a race, the only outcome is that you have to win. I think I have already indicated that even on the national level, that that is not my view of elections. When you go into an election, the chance is that you can win, the chances are you can lose.”

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana 

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