Ivorian President, 70, is 10 times better than 55-year-old Mahama – Akufo-Addo


NPP Presidential hopeful Nana Akufo-Addo has once again made the case that despite being 70 years, his age will be no hindrance to his ability to lead the nation if elected in 2016.

Lining up with his age-mate President of Côte d’Ivoire, Nana Akufo-Addo has argued that Alassane Ouattara despite his age is doing far better than Ghana’s John Mahama although the latter claims he is a youthful president.

“72-year-old Alassane Ouattara is doing 10 times better for Cote d’Ivoire than 50 something year old Mahama for Ghana….we have a man who in three years has transformed Côte d’Ivoire, a country 10 years in civil war….”

The two-time presidential candidate was in the Upper East regional capital, Wa, to campaign for a third endorsement for the 2016 presidential elections.

The NPP is set to elect a flagbearer next month and Nana Akufo-Addo received a major boost after over 80% of delegates at a special conference picked him as favourite among six others.

Akufo-Addo who will turn 72 years by 2016, contested as NPP Presidential Candidate for the first time in 1998. He came second to John Agyekum Kufuor.

His opponents within the party and political rivals, the NDC, have argued, the septuagenarian will be too told to be president. NDC lawyer Abraham Amaliba shares the view that contesting for the third time only shows there is something wrong with the NPP “product”.

He has also been compared to 90-year old Mugabe who is president of Zimbabwe.

“It is not a question of age or size”, a constant refrain, Nana Akufo-Addo re-echoed to Joy News Upper West regional correspondent, Rafiq Salam.

He argued that unlike Mugabe “who has been there for more than 30 years…that’s not my intention to be in power”.

Keeping to a shining example of leadership, Nana Addo pointed out that Cote d’Ivoire’s AlassaneOuattara who has been President of that country since 2011 has done more to change the future of the West African nation.

According to africaneconomicoutlook, Ivory Coast’s economy continues to expand – by a robust 8.8% in 2013 (9.8% in 2012) – in a steady recovery from the 2010-11 post-election crisis. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Ivory Coast expanded 7.60 percent in the second quarter of 2014 over the same quarter of the previous year.

Impressed by the performance of Ghana’s neighbours, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that “in three years he has restored peace and has started rebuilding the economy of Cote d’Ivoire, producing rates off growth there, we are only dreaming about in Ghana”.

He is convinced that age should not matter in terms of leadership, noting that “If his [Ouattara’s] performance and the performance of Mahama are to be compared then maybe we should have a law that says, nobody under 70 years should be president in Ghana. It may be better for us.”

The septuagenarian flagbearer aspirant explained that his ambition to become president is because the political office is a “vehicle for a vision to transform Ghana” so that Ghanaians can “live a more dignified existence”.