The Head of Political Science Department at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, says arguments suggesting that old age is an impediment to political leadership is absurd and flawed.
The astute Political Analyst was responding to suggestions that the age factor could be disadvantageous to Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid to run for presidency on the ticket of the NPP for the third time.
Several political commentaries have sought to suggest that Nana Addo’s March 20 declaration to make a third attempt at the presidency at age 70, is not politically expedient. Prominent among the proponents of this argument, is another Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kwesi Amakye, who on several platforms described Nana Addo as “too old to run for another election.”
Mr. Kwesi Amakye proposes that the March 29, 1944 born should have allowed younger presidential hopefuls in the New Patriotic Party to contest for 2016.
An elder of the NPP, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, in similar analysis has demonstrated albeit softly his conviction that younger flagbearers are much more likely to win the elections. In his analysis, he suggested that the decision of the governing National Democratic Congress to field a younger candidate may have played a role in the party’s victory in the 2012 elections.
Traveling on the same trajectory, President of the Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana Bar Association, Lawyer Yaw Boafo, speaking on Ultimate Radio’s News Analysis programme “Fact file”, put up a legal and biblical objection to Nana Addo’s decision. According to him“it is for nothing that the Bible says there is time for everything and a season for every activity and leadership is not just doing what people say you should do.”
Challenging the integrity of his allegiance to the legal profession, he indicated it was more so uncharacteristic of old lawyers to stay vibrant in the legal profession.
“No person can begrudge Nana Akufo Addo the right to pursue something he wants to do. He has made it clear that he has chosen two professions, law and politics that have no definite time limits. But everybody will also tell you that all the very old lawyers are now at home even though they can still come to court”.
Lawyer Boafo believes the old experienced legal luminary and political front runner should have “bowed down while the applause was the loudest” at the time the supreme court election petition was over and rather opted to be “forever remembered as a statesman.”
He further stated that the huge evolving youthful demographics of the country’s population could punish the aged politician come 2016.
But Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, a regular panel on the Fact File programme, disagrees. According to him, age had no role to play in running for political leadership as long as the candidate was psychologically and morally sound.
He contended, “If you are running a country you don’t need strength. If you are doing okay in the normal sense that is even good enough. It takes brains and its only Ghana here that we behave as if you have to be a strong man. What? That you have to be a macho man because you are going to take macho decisions? Is that what they mean?”
Supporting his point he stated emphatically, “it takes brains, determination, commitment, integrity, truthfulness and all of these things. Still questioning the argument, he asked whether Nana Addo had lost all these qualities and asked them to provide evidence to prove so if they had any.
Dr. Amoako Baah also indicated that such arguments were just baseless and unfair to Nana Addo since he was the same person the party clamored for to be their President just a year ago.
“If he was good enough a year ago, why are we saying this now? Do they mean one year has changed him, he has become demented now in the spate of a year?” he questioned with surprise.
He stressed that it was a personal decision Nana Addo took which only laid in the power of the majority of Ghanaians to accept or reject him.