The New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer for the 2016 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, says he has ‘energy’ and ‘commitment’ to lead Ghana as president.
“I believe I have the energy; I also have the commitment, and those are the two things that are driving me,” the experienced politician said on BBC’s Democracy Day panel discussion in London yesterday.
Ghana’s former Attorney-General and later Foreign Minister was one of the few experienced African politicians who were invited to discuss democracy and governance as part of the UK’s 750th anniversary of first Westminster Parliament and 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta.
The Magna Carta or “the Great Charter”, also called Magna Carta Libertatum, “the Great Charter of the Liberties” (of England), is a charter issued by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15th June, 1215.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who is in his early seventies and will be contesting for President for a third time, possibly against President John Manama, dismissed the brouhaha about his age and also said that he did not unilaterally decide to run again as NPP leader.
“The matter is not in my hands. I made the decision to present myself to my party asking them that if they agree, I want to go again,” he explained. He said “beyond the energy, you have also the commitment: you want to try and see whether you can do something to change the facts of your society, of course doing so within the context of democratic government – those are the two main things.”
He hopes to defeat his main contender John Mahama.
When asked why he and others would not hand over the African political space to much younger generation, Nana Akufo- Addo replied humorously that “when 70-year-old Reagan walked into the White House nobody had a problem with it.”
Africa’s Development He repeated that it was not possible for anybody to develop the African continent other than the people themselves.
“I think there’s one simple truth that all of us on the continent have to recognise; nobody is going to build this African continent for us but ourselves,” he said, adding that “Europeans will not do it; when thev involve themselves with Africa they have their own goals, which they have been serving for centuries.”
He said “the only people who- are capable of building the Africa that we want of the future, are ourselves, and we can do it and we are best able to do it if we are focusing on creating the institutions of governance in our countries that allow us to do so… Western media have its own goals when it is projecting Africa, and we must have our own goals as well.”