Mahama Rules Out Duffuor As President
Former President John Dramani Mahama is subtly shooting down the possibility of a former Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, becoming president in his life-time because age is not on his side
Mr. Mahama explained that, with the African population largely youthful, the aged have no business staying or becoming presidents.
Speaking at a forum at Chatham House in London in the United Kingdom (UK), Mr. Mahama, who is 64, said such leaders are unable to make the right decisions due to old age.
“When you have leaders who have problems in terms of thoughts, they have no business continuing being in leadership, especially when you have a continent with a population as youthful as Africa.
60 % of the African population is young. So why would 80-year-olds and 90-year-olds still want to lead? I was going to say they should be home taking care of their grandchildren, but I recently became a grandfather myself,” he said amidst laughter.
Dr. Duffuor is said to be nearing his 80 years, but, according to Mr. Mahama, people in that age bracket have no business staying or being at the top as presidents.
Interestingly, a search by The Anchor could not get the actual date of birth by the NDC stalwart, even though some claim he is already 80 years, while others say he is yet to.
The former Finance Minister under late Professor John Evans Atta Mills administration is one of the few candidates who have declared the intention to slug it out in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential primaries, slated for May, this year.
He is being backed by some loyalists of the late Atta Mills in the NDC, including a sacked former deputy general secretary, Samuel Koku Anyidoho, a former national organizer Yaw Boateng Gyan, a former national communications officer, Solomon Nkansah, and many others who are seen as anti-Mahama.
A former mayor of Kumasi under ex-President Mahama administration, Kojo Bonsu, has also announced his intention to contest for the single slot, though he is far younger.
But ahead of that contest, Mr. Mahama who has been tipped as a leading contender in that race, says it is counter-productive for people in that age bracket to remain or be elected as presidents.
“When you have a leader who is old, he has no business continuing to be a leader, it doesn’t matter where the person is coming from, whether Africa or wherever,” the former President said.
On the continent, there are a number of leaders who are above 80 years and still holding on to power.
Sometimes, many of these leaders do not only lack in thinking, but physically, they look not strong as in some cases they are helped to walk or do other stuffs in public.
Some of these aged presidents in Africa include the 89-year-old President of Cameroon, Paul Biya; Namibian President, Hage Gottfried Geingob, 81 years; Ivorian Leader, Alassane Ouattara, 81 years; Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and 80-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mahama has declared he will make known whether or not he will contest for President by next month, February 2023.
Though a formidable force, the three times flagbearer of the NDC is yet to formally indicate his interest in the upcoming contest.
At a meeting with the UK-Ireland branch of the NDC on Saturday January 28, 2023, as part of his trip to the UK, Mr. Mahama told enthusiastic supporters and members that he will make his immediate future political plans known in the coming month.
“I’ll announce my political future next month,” a former Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, quoted him as saying during the meeting.
Joining him on that trip aside from the former minister were an aide to the former President and former deputy minister for Transport, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, the national chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, a former Minister for Health, Alex Segbefia, a former presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe, and others
The NDC has announced it will hold its presidential primaries in May, this year and in the likely event that Mr. Mahama contests and wins, it will be the fourth time he will be leading the party into a crucial general elections.
Per the timetable outlined by the party’s general secretary, Fifi Kwetey, on Wednesday, January 18, interested individuals are expected to pick up nomination forms from the party’s website or its headquarters in Accra.
Filing of nominations will take place from Wednesday, February 22 to Friday, February 24.
The submission and filing of forms will also take place from Monday, March 20, 2023, to Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Mr. Mahama was invited by the Chatham House in the United Kingdom to speak on the topic “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role.”
He had earlier, ahead of the programme, posted on his facebook handle, saying “I’ll be speaking on the platform of the Chatham House Africa Programme, this afternoon, on the topic “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role.”
“It will be an opportunity to continue my advocacy for a resilient Africa that works strategically towards the attainment of the continent’s Agenda 2063 goals. I will also interact with the audience on our continent’s strategic priorities,” he added.