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Opinions of Saturday, 17 December 2016

Columnist: Attopley, Martin Selorm Koku

Nana Addo,the septuagenarian President

By Martin Selorm Koku Attopley

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President Elect of the Republic of Ghana is going to be recorded in the annals of Ghanaian history as the first Septuagenarian [someone between the ages of 70 to 79] President of the Republic until further notice.

The youngest President of the fourth Republic is no other than His Excellency, Jerry John Rawlings who ascended the throne as a Tricenarian on 31 December 1981 at the age of 34years, 192 days[He was President at the Age of 31years when he spearheaded a coup to pave way for the third Republic and overthrew General Fred Akuffo of the Supreme Military Council.

He handed over to Dr. Hilla Limann of the People’s National Party(PNP) but later overthrew him too in 1981]. He’s immediately followed by our revered outgoing President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama who was inaugurated as President on 24th July 2012 as a Quinquagenarian (at the age of 53years,238 days).

His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor becomes the third to ascend the throne as President at the age of 62years,30days on the 7th January 2009 when he was inaugurated. The late President, the ever humble and soft spoken, His Excellency John Fiifi Attah Mills became President at the age of 64years,170days on the 7th January 2009. John Agyeman Kufuor and John Fiifi Attah Mills were Sexagenarians when they were inaugurated. This is the ranking of our Presidents in terms of age!

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the 7th of January 2017 would be inaugurated as President at a “young” age of 72 years. Before he won the 2017 General Elections on the 9th December, he was lampooned by many for being old, sick or medically unfit and a whole lot of issues popped up to deter him from achieving his dreams as President. He however defied all odds to be actively involved in the party’s campaign with their slogan, “Change, An Agenda for Jobs” and “Hope” throughout the country.

It’s been barely a week after he(Nana Addo) was declared as President Elect of the Republic by the Electoral Commission of Ghana and I must be candid that many Ghanaians have taken to social media and other well deserving platforms to put undue pressure on the President even when he has not been inaugurated yet as President.

From what I’ve seen so far from WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, I must say that indeed Ghanaians can’t wait to start marking the President Elect and his works. Many of the Facebook messages suggest that, they can’t wait to see a total change or positive transmogrification in the country since that was the promise by the New Patriotic Party. For evidence sake, this is an extract of a message I saw on WhatsApp. The person wrote, “I can’t wait to see Nana Addo fulfill the following promises without any excuses in just four years:

1. Free SHS

2. Reduce light Bills

3. Reduce water bills

4. Free maternal care

5. 1 district 1 factory

6. Pay all DKM customers

7. Pay nursing and teacher training allowances

8. Reduce Corporate Tax to 20% and other taxes

9. Create the Western North Region

10. Provide jobs for all graduates

11. Charge a flat rate of 3.5 percent from SME instead of 17.5 percent VAT

12. Pay $1m to all the 275 constituencies

13. One extension officer per 500 farmers

14. 1 dam for all the villages in the north

15. Remove import duties on materials and machinery for production

16. Abolish special import levy, abolish the 17.5% VAT on imported machines not produced in the country, abolish the 17.5% VAT on financial services, abolish the 5% VAT on Real Estate Sales and abolish the 17.5% on domestic airline tickets. We are watching”,he concluded!

The Vice President Elect, His Excellency Mahamudu Bawumia has won the hearts of many in the past few years as the running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Bawumia has made very strong points and given some strategies to curb our dwindling economy. At his various lectures held in the country, he has proven beyond reasonable doubt to many that, he as a professional economist can find a lasting solution to the economic problems we face as a country.

We really can’t wait to buy waakye in Ashaiman or Tema and get fish,meat or egg for free because the economy would be booming!

I watched AdomTv and JoyTv where some traders and individuals were interviewed on whether or not they believe our Septuagenarian President is capable of fulfilling his policies and promises. Well from what I watched, I must admit without mincing words that many of the interviewees were not sure if he can fulfill his gargantuan promises considering his age and health.

Some explained that he can achieve his aim if he selects his minister’s meticulously and not haphazardly. He was advised by others to put square pegs in square holes and not square pegs in round holes!

One thing I know for sure is that the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, would surely give Nana Addo and the NPP a very tough time in the next four years.

The NDC has been hurt so much in the just ended elections because they felt they were not treated fairly by Ghanaians after all the good job they did and I know for sure that they would do everything in their power to ensure that Nana Addo and the NPP would have no breathing space. They would match them boot for boot. They would make sure that the NPP accounts for everything they(NPP) have stated in their manifesto regardless.

As I always do in most of my articles, may I advice the President and his would-be Ministers, Parliamentarians and other Ex-Officio members. Ghanaians are now very vigilant and it maybe fortunate or unfortunate that you have come at this time. Ghanaians would take you by your words and from January 2017 to December 2020, we won’t blink an eye. We would keep watch of your activities day and night, rain or shine!

I know my brother, Manasseh Azure Awuni is beaming with smiles and can’t wait to either praise or castigate your actions in his folder(Manasseh's folder). I also know for a fact that my brother, the invincible man, the man with the Tiger eyes, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his team would be watching sternly from their secret corners and many other writers, journalists and social activists would be on your heels and your entourage of Ministers and Parliamentarians.

Please make the millions of Ghanaians who opted for change very proud. Don’t let Ghanaians regret ever voting for you and your Members of Parliament.

You are old and intelligent. In my heart, I believe strongly that you would prove a change, make Ghana proud and leave a lasting legacy before you join your ancestors in the world beyond. Mr. President, If any of your ministers misbehave and denigrate the image of your government don’t condone and connive with him or her, show them the exit. Be just and firm and don’t be corrupt. We are watching and waiting Mr. President!

Let He Who Has Ears, Listen To The Words I Speak!

The Writer is Martin Selorm Koku Attopley, a Student, Author, Writer and Public Speaker.

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