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Too old to govern like our payola laureate?

Wed, 2 Nov 2016 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I have already answered the rather scandalous question of whether at 72 years old, the Presidential Candidate of the country’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is too old to run for the presidency. And so I would not waste time rehashing the same herein.

If Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia doubts or has any qualms, he can Google my name and that of Mr. Hassan Ayariga, the founder and presidential candidate of the so-called All People’s Congress (APC) to find out for himself (See “‘Nana Addo Too Old to Govern Ghana Like Mahama’ – Asiedu-Nketia” Modernghana.com 10/4/16).

At any rate, who decides at what age one is too old to run for the presidency? The last time that I checked, the sole legal document for dealing with this kind of question was Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution. And to the best of my knowledge, our Fourth-Republican Constitution provides absolutely no answer to this patently frivolous question, except the inescapably meaningful stipulation that any bona fide Ghanaian citizen wishing to contest for the presidency must be at least 35 or 40 years (I forget exactly which) and be of sound health and mind.

Even more importantly ought to be borne in mind the fact that any presidential aspirant of any political party, save for an Independent Candidate, ought to have been selected through a democratic process. And it is worthwhile to underscore the fact that the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party was, indeed, selected via exactly such a process. Thus, to impugn the presidential candidacy of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the General-Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress is doing, defies both constitutional legality and common sense. If anything at all, it can clearly be established that, indeed, the nomination of Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Justice Minister as the 2016 presidential candidate of the NPP was done through a far more credible process by the NPP’s National Delegates’ Congress than the elitist process by which Mr. John Dramani Mahama was nominated by the executive operatives of the National Democratic Congress.

Furthermore, for the man popularly called General Mosquito to call the age of the three-time New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate into question, inexcusably insults the intelligence of the thousands of party-certified delegates that elected Nana Akufo-Addo to represent the NPP in the 2016 presidential election. And here also, it bears recalling the fact that about 10 times the number of delegates that nominated NDC’s President Mahama are on record to have overwhelmingly voted to elect Akufo-Addo as their presidential candidate. And so, really, if the presidential candidacy of any major political figure in the country is subject to any form of impugnation, that candidate is clearly not Nana Akufo-Addo but somebody else. We defer this judgment to the creative imagination and the remarkable cognitive genius of the dear reader.

Even more laughable is Mr. Asiedu-Nketia’s clearly diffident attempt to hold up the image of the hopelessly bumbling President Mahama as a respectable template of the average Ghanaian’s idea of an ideal president. I mean, I don’t ever recall any payola laureate par-excellence being held up as an emulative icon worthy of the aspiration of many a Ghanaian youth in this postcolonial era. And so General Mosquito may need to explain precisely why he and his NDC associates would have a President Akufo-Addo govern our beloved nation like a payola-prone President Mahama.

Then also, why would Mr. Asiedu-Nketia have Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo (Née Griffiths-Randolph) advise her husband to put the brakes on the all-too-savory presidential ambitions of the former Foreign Minister, when it was over one-hundred party delegates that nominated Nana Akufo-Addo to gun for the Flagstaff House and not the candidate’s wife? This patently gratuitous approach to democratic political culture ought to tell the critically thinking reader more about the mindset and character of General Mosquito and his rag-tag associates of the so-called National Democratic Congress, than either about Mr. Asiedu-Nketia’s target of vitriol or the collective profile of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party.

Indeed, if anything at all, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia’s exhibition of abject lack of professionalism typifies the collective profile of the entire leadership of the ballot-snatching robber-barons or “ajangudas” of the National Democratic Congress. May God save the longsuffering Ghanaian citizen from the thievish and cynical and politically elitist likes of Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, the notorious price-gouging brick supplier and board member of the NPP-initiated Bui Dam Project.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

October 28, 2016

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.