Former Attorney General, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has said the governing National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) decision to field a younger Candidate against the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) older Candidate in the 2012 elections, “might have worked” to the advantage of the former.
Mr. Ayikoi Otoo has therefore urged his party to learn from that example.
Ghana’s current President, Mr. John Mahama was born on November 29, 1958, less than a year after Ghana gained independence on March 6, 1957.
Mr. Mahama, who served as Vice President for the most part of late President John Evans Atta-Mills’ administration, inherited the remainder of his boss’ tenure, less than six months ahead of the 2012 elections and also run against the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was 68-years-old at the time.
Mr. Mahama constantly trumpeted his youthfulness during the 2012 campaigns and urged voters to opt for the younger generation.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo said on Saturday that the age card played by Mr. Mahama might have sealed the deal for the NDC in the last election.
“Atta-Mills was weak. Old frail; could not take any decisions. The man was dying. The results showed clearly that Nana Akufo-Addo would have won landslide if Mills had been there. Fate; whatever; some have conspiracy theories; the man died. Then they saw the need to bring in a younger person. He started by saying that as for him, he was born in Ghana. He’s a Ghanaian. He’s a younger person. Immediately, you get a juxtaposition of an older person contesting with a younger person. It might have worked somehow for them. This is the advice I want to give. Let us look at all the issues at stake. You win executive power. You control the Legislature. Leave the Judiciary to be independent and you’ll be ok”.
Ayikoi Otoo’s counsel to his party to take a cue from the NDC’s age card strategy comes on the heels of clamours for Nana Akufo-Addo, who will turn 72 in 2016, to run for the third consecutive time as presidential candidate of the NPP in the next three years.
Nana Akufo-Addo, born on March 29, 1944 has been described by political science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kwesi Amakye, as too old to run for another election.
Mr. Amakye says the twice-defeated Candidate should allow the younger presidential hopefuls in the party to run for 2016.
Among some of the youthful names speculated for the flagbearer slot are: two-time failed Aspirant Alan Kyeremanten who is widely perceived as the next in succession; former General Secretary and Legislator Dan Botwe who has also contested once; former Campaign Director of Nana Akufo-Addo in 2012, Mr. Boakye Agyarko who also contested in 2007; Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2012 running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; former Information Minister Oboshie Sai-Cofie; former Trades Minister Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, who was also one of the 17 candidates who contested the slot in 2007 and former Ambassador to the U.S., Isaac Osei, also one of the 17.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo advises that: “We’ve got to sit down and think about all issues including getting a winnable candidate”.
He says the Party must learn from what happened with the Democrats of the U.S. in 2004 when the party’s Presidential Candidate at the time, John Kerry, provided a platform for Barack Obama - then contesting for the Senate - to deliver the keynote address at the party’s national convention, an event which became a launch pad of sorts for Obama’s later successful presidential bid in 2007.
“I’d like to leave Ghanaians with some thoughts on Kerry and Obama. Obama was virtually unknown. Kerry as Candidate gave him the platform to speak at their Congress. He became a household name instantly. They were targeting the black minority votes and the Hispanics. Kerry went through it, he didn’t get the nod. He waited. The next time round, he supported Obama to go. He didn’t go anymore but supported Obama. It did not appear as if that he was losing touch; that is Kerry himself but he was playing his cards. They realised that they also needed the white and the middle class votes so they chose [Hilary] Clinton to assist Obama. After four years, Clinton had been dropped and Kerry is now back as the Secretary of State in America, a very powerful position”, recalled Nii Ayikoi Otoo on Joy FM’s news analysis programme ‘newsfile’ on Saturday, September 14, 2013.
Host of the programme, Samson Lardi Ayenini, then sought some clarification from the former Attorney General: “You don’t sound like you would endorse a Nana Addo Candidature”.
Ayikoi Otoo answered by saying: “I’m not going to go into the details. I said I’ve spoken. I’ve drawn instances. I want people to start looking at it”.
Pressed further by Lardi Ayenini for clarity, Nii Ayikoi Otoo said: “You are not putting any words into my mouth. I’m saying let us win executive power. Let us control the Legislature so we ensure that all our plans are put into place. If we want free senior education, let us ensure that it will come to play. Leave the Judiciary to be independent”.
Source: XYZ News
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