Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako Jr., has dared presidential aspirants of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), who think they are younger, and by extension, fitter, than two-time failed flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, to either challenge him or stop making political capital out of his age.
“Let those youthful guys and elements in the NPP, who are worried about the age of Nana Akufo-Addo, galvanise themselves, mobilise their resources and give him a stiff competition before the 140,000 plus delegates. Convince the delegates of the party that: ‘look this man will be 72 years in 2016 so even if he won the primaries, it will not be in our interest.’
“Let the youth come forward and compete with the old man if they call him so and win. They have no luxury of an alternative. This is competition, this is democracy,” Baako challenged on Saturday.
Akufo-Addo turns 70 on March 29, 2014 and will be 72 years by 2016 when fresh elections are due. His expected archrival, John Mahama turned 55 on November 29 last year and will be 57 in 2016.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s internal competitors as well as opponents in the governing National Democratic Congress are playing the age card against the former Attorney General who recently announced his decision to have another go at the presidency after failing twice as presidential candidate of the NPP in 2008 and 2012.
Kweku Baako however describes the age card game as an “absurdity”. “If they think it’s a serious issue, I challenge them to bring it forward for possible legislation and then they’ll see the absurdity in what they are doing,” he told Joy FM.
Some of Nana Akufo-Addo’s likely contenders for the flagbearer slot include his 2012 Campaign Director Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Ghana’s former High Commissioner to the UK and Ambassador to Ireland, Isaac Osei; former health Minister Dr Richard Anane and former Trade Minister Alan Kyeremanten, who is seen by many political watchers as the heir apparent to the leadership slot Akufo-Addo leaves the scene. Akufo-Addo is senior to all of them.