Former flag bearer aspirant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, will, for now, not answer direct questions about whether or not he will run for president in 2020 but he has been speaking about his age and the presidency.
The former Minister of Trade and Industry is currently 63 years old. He will be 67 in four years’ time.
In the following interview with Accra-based Citi FM’s Richard Dela Sky on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News on Monday, 3 April, Mr Spio-Garbrah, who was dodgy about his presidential ambition, said the age card may not be to his disadvantage if he decides to run.
Sky: Some people made age a big issue in the last election and in the previous elections it was a big matter; 2020,if you ever decide to contest will you not be too old to run for president?
Spio: If you are talking about age, then I think people will want to see ‘what is the average age of a president in Africa or a president around the world?’
Sky: I’m talking about you
Spio: No don’t talks about me, you are talking about age because there will be other people who may be older than me who are also listening and you are trying to disqualify them because they are 68 or 70.
Sky: But in this case, I’m talking about you
Spio: I’m 63 and I’m saying that if somebody is 65…
Sky: In three years, you’ll be 66, would you not be too old to run for president, at least that’s how some people will think?
Spio: Some people will think that a person who is 66 will be too old to run for president, there’ll be people who’ll think that way, there will be others who will say: ‘oh but we just had a 73-year-old man become president of Ghana. And we also have a 70-year-old man as president of the United States and the average age of more than 25 African heads of states is over 70 so maybe 65, 70, 75 may not be that old. President Mandela was in his 70s and 80s as president but if the people of Ghana want a 45-year-old president, that’s what they will get, if they want a 55-year-old president, if they are judging the person purely on his age, chronological age, not his expertise, his experience, his knowledge, his wisdom, his capacity, his competencies, and where he has been, what he has learnt, and what he can contribute to the country, then fine. Some people will make their judgment based on that, others will make a judgment based on some of the factors I’ve mentioned, so, that’s how elections are lost and won; it’s up to whoever becomes the candidate of either NDC or NPP to go out and sell themselves because president Akufo-Addo will be …
Sky: But what would you sell about a 66-year-old Spio-Garbrah?
Spio: I don’t know if President Akufo-Addo will want to go for a second term but if he does then he will be 77, 77-whatever he is, and he will be selling himself and he would expect people to ignore his age, I suppose, and still listen to what he is saying, so, anybody who is in his 60s or 50s will not have to worry when you have a 77-year-old competitor.