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Nana Addo’s Age Is Irrelevant (Part II)

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 Source: Abdul-Fatawu, Fuseini

Nana Addo’s Age Is Irrelevant to Him Being the President of Ghana (Part II)

Following my earlier article on the irrelevancy of Nana Addo’s age to him being the president of Ghana (see: Nana Addo’s Age Is Irrelevant to Him Being the President of Ghana (Part I), 15 August 2014, modernghana.com, spyghana.com etc.), I have decided to follow it up with another little piece, this time concentrating on head of states who ascended the presidency at a relatively young age but passed away whilst still in office.

My first point will be the USA, the home of modern democracy. In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away whilst in office at the age of 62. This was after him ruling from 1933-1945. Born in 1883, Roosevelt ascended to the US presidency at the youthful age of 50.

When we come to pre-independence Africa, in 1957 in the French Colony of Upper Volta now Burkina Faso, a young man, Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly, was appointed by the French colonialist to head the country. In the year 1958, one year after his appointment, he died whilst in office at the youthful age of 49. He was coincidentally born in 1909, as our own Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Going to Europe, in 1950, a 58 year man was given the mantle of presidency of Bulgaria. Georgia Damyanov ruled Bulgaria for 8years and passed away in 1958 whilst still in office. Being born in 1892, he was 66 when he exited this earth.

Still in Europe but now in Denmark, in 1955, a 48year man who was born in 1906 in the person of Hans Christian Hansen became the president of the country. He ruled for relatively over 4years and died in office at the age of 53 in 1960.

Moving to Asia and specifically Malaysia, in April 1960, Hisamuddin Salangon headed the country and in a few months’ time, in September of that very year, he passed away at the age of 62.

Back to Europe, in 1974, Ireland lost its leader, Erskine Hamilton Childer, at the age of 68. Born in 1905, he headed the country in 1973 and one year later, he was off the scene.

A neighbor to Ireland, France, also shortly lost its leader in the same 1974 at the age of 62. Georges Pompidou, born in 1911, ruled France for only three years, from 1969 to 1974.

Now to our own continent, Africa, Algeria in 1978 lost its leader, Houari Boumediene at the youthful age of 46. Very young indeed was his age. Born in 1932, he ruled Algeria for 7years from 1965-78.

There was a similar situation in Angola. Its first president, poet and anti-colonial hero, Antonio Agostinho Neto, born in 1922, passed away at the age of 56. Despite his fight and inspiration for country and continent, Agostinho Neto couldn’t escape death in 1979. He painfully passed away, ruling for only 4years from 1975-79.

To cap my very few and minute examples in the 20th century, I will move to Eurasia and precisely to Turkey. In 1993, this now economically prosperous country lost its leader, Halil Turtut Ozal. Halil Turtut Ozal, born in 1927 ruled for 4years from 1989-93 and passed away whilst in office at the age of 65.

Now dear readers, let’s move to similarly few and minute examples in the 21st century.

In 2007, chad lost its leader, Pascal Yoadimnadji at the age of 57. Born in 1950, he ruled for two years from 2005-07.

Still in my continent, in 2008, after ruling for six years from 2006-08, Zambian president, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa passed away whilst still in office at the age of 59. So youthful was he and so surprising and painful was the death to Zambians and Africans.

My final example for Africa in this century is that of Ethiopian strongman, Meles Zenawi. Mr. Zenawi, born in 1955, ruled Ethiopia from the 1995 to 2012. His presidency started at the age of 40 and he passed away when he was 57.

This little piece will end with an example from Latin-America. In Venezuela, the revered Hugo Chavez, born in 1954, passed away in 2013, when he was 58years of age. So huge was he to Venezuela and world politics that he wished he wouldn’t die and was actually begging one of his ministers not to allow him to die. Unfortunately, death is no stupor or respecter of persons.

It is worth mentioning that in researching and writing on this topic, I deliberately ignored the uncountable number of presidents and heads of states who were assassinated. Presidents like John F. Kennedy of the United States of America and Anwar Sadat of Egypt among others fall in this category. Others like Adolf Hitler of Germany who committed suicide were also ignored. I further ignored those who had power whilst old( in their 70s) ruled for long, handed over power and stayed for a long while after that before being called by our Lovely and Merciful Creator. I equally ignored the recent examples of our neighbours in Nigeria, in Umaru Yar’adua and General Abacha. Equally ignored is the example of our own former president, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills.

With such glaring examples, one would have thought no one would ever use the age of a person for negative campaigning. But unfortunately it is being used against the charismatic, caring, incorruptible and experienced sage, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo. And more unfortunate is the fact that NPP members, who should have known better are rather doing the bidding for the officially propagandist party, the NDC.

From the examples above, it is crystal clear that death doesn’t come to a person based on his health or age. Death doesn’t equally come to a person based on his poverty or wealth. Every person is decreed a particular day and time to leave this fleeting world and when that time comes, no one can stop death.

The NPP has reached a stage when it cannot afford to look back and it can equally not afford to lose the 2016 elections. This great party is priviledged to have the finest brains in the 21st century politics of Ghana, and Ghanaians seriously and hungrily yearn for the return of the NPP. We dare not disappoint them.

As I stipulated in my earlier article referenced above, I believe in all the NPP aspirants, I believe in all their credentials and good qualities, but I seriously trust and believe that Nana Addo is the best bet for us in the 2016 elections. Nana Addo’s age, his experience in Ghanaian politics, his wisdom and incorruptibility coupled with Dr. Bawumia’s economic skills and acumen will eventually take Ghana out of the squalor, poverty, corruption and deprivation we find ourselves in today under the clueless, corrupt and uncaring NDC administration.

I will end by entreating all the aspirants and national executives to rally strongly behind Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and Dr. Bawumia immediately after the primaries to win election 2016, In Sha Allah, in order to industrialise and modernize Ghana. Together let’s move forward to victory 2016 and presidency 2017 In Sha Allah…

I shall In Sha Allah be back…

Fuseini Abdul-Fatawu

Acting Secretary of Young Patriots in the Sissalaland and also a Polling Station Executive


Columnist: Abdul-Fatawu, Fuseini