A member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Arthur Kennedy, says he will be extremely shocked if no member of the party contests Nana Akufo-Addo in the race of the flagbearership position, when nominations open.
According to him, any attempt to let Akufo-Addo go unopposed will be inconsistent with the NPP’s tradition and democratic tenets.
Arthur Kennedy was reacting to calls by some leading members of the party to allow the twice-defeated presidential candidate to go unopposed.
Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party, Bernard Antwi Bosiako and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markins, who are leading the crusade, warned that the party risk losing the 2016 elections if Akufo-Addo does not go unopposed.
They have therefore called on other flagbearer aspirants to reconsider their decisions to contest the position in the interest of the party. But Dr. Arthur Kennedy on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, said any attempt to impose a candidate on the party will be undemocratic.
He indicated that it will be in the interest of the party to allow all those prepared to vie for the position, to engage in a healthy competition. Dr. Kennedy also a flagbearer hopeful said “I’m very confident he [Akufo-Addo] will be contested by others”.
Lauding Akufo-Addo’s decision to contest the position for the third time, Arthur Kennedy said he [Nana] must prove beyond reasonable doubt that he has learnt from his mistakes.
He further observed that but for the infamous ‘all-die-be-die’ comment, Akufo-Addo would have performed better in the 2012 elections.
On the issue about age, Dr. Arthur Kennedy disagreed with those, who argue that the former NPP leader was too old for the presidency.
He said if after a very vigorous fair campaign Akufo- Addo turns out to be the nominee for the NPP, I don’t think his age should matter because “there are 70 year olds, who are stronger than 20 year olds”.
“I have never subscribed to the standard that somebody is too old to be president. It is not about age; it is about competence”, Arthur Kennedy stressed.