STATEMENT: Nana Addo’s Declaration To Contest…; More Questions Than Answers

Nana Akufo Addo, today revealed the worst kept secret in Ghanaian politics-that he hasn’t given up on his childhood dream of becoming President of Ghana at all cost.

While Nana Addo’s public declaration of his intention to contest the 2016 election is not surprising, it places him within the ranks of aging African Politicians who see a lack of political power as an existential threat for which reason they must do all it takes to win it.

Having spent the better part of four decades in active politics, we of Inside Ghana had been of the view that it was time for him to follow the examples of statesmen around the globe and bow out gracefully to offer opportunity for younger aspirants in his party to infuse some fresh ideas into its leadership .That was not to be as Nana Akufo Addo appears set once again to monopolize the leadership space of the NPP.

Is Nana Akufo Addo telling Ghanaians and the world at large that he is the be all and end all of the NPP in terms of leadership? Is this the best the NPP has to offer? Can the NPP not find among its fold a more credible, viable and acceptable candidate to lead it into election 2016 other than a twice defeated candidate?

Even more regrettable is the manner in which elected executives of the NPP have abandoned all principle and the spirit of fair play and are jumping over themselves to catch the eye of Nana Addo. This premature show of support to one candidate when processes have not been completed towards the election of a flagbearer undermines the sort of level playing field that ought to exist within the party. It effectively shuts out other contenders for the flagbearer slot of the NPP

Nana Akufo Addo in declaring his intentions this morning missed a golden opportunity to atone for some serious shortcomings in previous elections. We had hoped that he will seize the moment to recant and disavow some of the most divisive and violent rhetoric ever uttered in contemporary Ghanaian politics.

We hold the view that Nana Akufo Addo should have specifically apologized for his ‘all die be die’, ‘yen akanfo’, ‘Atiwa yekyere biribi kakra’ statements which injected so much poison into the minds of his followers who began to see violence as a means to capture political power. These statements instilled so much fear in Ghanaians that elaborate peace campaigns had to be embarked upon in order to calm the nation for the 2012 elections.

His failure to demonstrate that he no longer subscribes to hate speech as an electoral tool raises serious questions about his respect for the Ghanaian electorate. His total disregard for the sensibilities of those who were offended by these unfortunate outbursts is a major drawback to efforts to sanitize our politics.

Another lost opportunity by Nana Addo was his silence of the vexatious election petition he filed at the Supreme Court when he refused to accept the will of the people in the 2012 elections. Having attempted to have over five million legitimate votes cast annulled on flimsy premise he should have been modest enough to reach out to the over 4o% of registered voters whose right to choose a leader he so desperately sought to take away from them. How does Nana Addo seek to win the votes of all these five million people whose freedoms he sought to curtail at the Supreme Court?

These omissions on the part of Nana Addo can only lead to one inevitable conclusion that his chances of realizing a decades-old ambition of becoming President in 2016 will be adversely affected because he has failed to convince Ghanaians outside of his party that the leopard can change his spots.