Spio Rekindles Presidential Hopes

Although former Trade and Industry Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has on several occasions denied media reports about his presidential ambition, information available to Today shows that he sees 2020 as a good opportunity to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to power.

Even before the Kwesi Botcwey-led Committee, which was set up by the NDC to find out the causes of the party’s electoral defeat in 2016 releases its report, Dr. Spio-Garbrah, according to our sorties, believe it will brighten his chances of leading the NDC in 2020.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah, who was also a former Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation in the United Kingdom (UK), is currently 63 years old, and will be 67 in four years’ time.

However, he is not bothered about the age card.

While urging disgruntled NDC members, particularly those at the grassroots, to exercise patience and wait for the report to help them know the way forward before the 2020 election, Dr. Spio-Garbrah noted in an interview on Citi FM in Accra on Monday, April 3, 2017 that the age-card may not be to his disadvantage if he decides to run.

“If you are talking about age, then I think people will want to see what is the average age of a president in Africa or a president around the world?” he quizzed.

According to him, there would be other people who may be older than him, and want to contest in 2020 for the presidency.

He therefore, could not understand why age should be a factor to determine who becomes the president of Ghana.

“Some people [will] think that a person who is 66 will be too old to run for president, there’ll be people who’ll think that way, there will be others who will say: ‘oh but we just had a 73-year-old man become president of Ghana. And we also have a 70-year-old man as president of the United States and the average age of more than 25 African heads of states is over 70 so maybe 65, 70, 75 may not be that old,” he said.

He added: “President Mandela was in his 70s and 80s as President but if the people of Ghana want a 45-year-old President, that’s what they will get, if they want a 55-year-old President, if they are judging the person purely on his age, chronological age, not his expertise, his experience, his knowledge, his wisdom, his capacity, his competencies, and where he has been, what he has learnt, and what he can contribute to the country, then fine.

…Some people will make their judgment based on that, others will make a judgment based on some of the factors I’ve mentioned, so, that’s how elections are lost and won; it’s up to whoever becomes the candidate of either NDC or NPP to go out and sell themselves because President Akufo-Addo will be …”

He stated that if President Akufo-Addo decides to go for a second term, he will be 77, “and he will be selling himself and he would expect people to ignore his age, I suppose, and still listen to what he is saying, so, anybody who is in his 60s or 50s will not have to worry when you have a 77-year-old competitor.”

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