By Gifty Arthur
The 72-year-old New Patriotic Party (NPP) three times presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, is on the heels of his former colleague Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli-Kaloe Constituency in the Upper West Region, to retire him at 59 years.
Nana Addo, who is 13 years older than Alban Kingsford Bagbin of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), wants the highly-rated Parliamentarian in the up-coming presidential and parliamentary elections in December, voted out.
The interesting part of the entire argument of the NPP’s flagbearer which has got many wondering and asking questions is that, while Mr. Bagbin, an accomplished lawyer was born on September 24 1957, Nana Addo, who many feel, should be shielding his presidential ambition by now, after having lost two painful elections, was born March 29, 1944.
“The Member of Parliament, Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin was in Parliament when I went to Parliament in 1997. He had already served one term. I left Parliament in the year 2008 and Bagbin my good friend is still in Parliament”, the three NPP flagbearer, said.
Nana Addo went on, “I think that we will all do Alban Bagbin a good favour, if we retire him so that he can go and have a good retirement. Let’s work on that and retire him, so he can go and have a rest so we push this young man Elvis Bortaa to come in his place,” he told the people of the Nadowli-Kaloe.
Lawyer Bagbin, has held the seat since 1992 by virtue of hard work attested to by many of his colleagues in Parliament.
Indeed, one who was held to his bitterest rival; Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who belongs to the NPP shockingly, campaigned for his retention in Parliament last year, praising his qualities as a legislator.
Mr. Bagbin, no doubt is one of the longest serving legislators in Ghana’s August House and is sometimes referred to as “Mugabe” which he playfully accepts, but has rose to become both the Minority Leader and now the Majority Leader, a feat the man who wants him out never came close to, while a legislator.
Nana Addo, was never in leadership when it came to parliamentary work for the twelve years he was in Parliament on the ticket of Abuakwa South.
But despite his experience and in-depth knowledge of parliamentary work, Nana Addo, told his constituents that they needed to work hard to unseat him and bring in a fresher blood, a 26 year-old.
While campaigning in the Upper West Region last week, Nana Addo, admonished the people of the Constituency, to vote out their incumbent MP, because he had been in Parliament for too long.
He said, the people of Nadowli-Kaleo, should instead vote for the NPP’s Elvis Bortaa.
Elvis Bortaa, had earlier said he was optimistic of winning the seat come December 7. According to him, the people of Nadowli-Kaleo, were hungry for a leader, who will spearhead developments in the constituency.
“I am competent and well-equipped with what it takes to lead the people. All it takes is for you to understand the suffering of the people and to have adequate knowledge of what options you need to make available to salvage the situation.”
The 26-year old said, “I would not want to admit that I am too young; the bottom line is that I am bringing to finality the long reign of Alban S.K. Bagbin, whose tenure of office in my estimation, has not yielded anything too good for the good people of Nadowli.”
Meanwhile, while Nana Addo was in the Majority Leader’s Constituency employing tactics to unseat him this year, Mr. Bagbin, was somewhere mocking the NPP flagbearer’s highly ambitious promises of one district, one factory and one village, one dam in villages in the three regions in the north.
Nana Addo, during a campaign tour of the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga, promised to establish a dam in every village in the northern part of Ghana to boost agriculture through a well-planned irrigation policy.
“One Village One Dam” will make Ghana crop all year round and eventually become a net exporter of most foodstuff, Nana Addo, told traditional rulers in Bolga.
Some policy analysts and government communicators, have expressed doubt about the pledge, accusing the opposition leader of trying to gain an illicit advantage by making unfeasible promises to voters.
In an overt jibe towards Nana Addo, the long serving legislator, made fun of the policy, promising to also provide ‘kenkey and fish’ for every electorate, if voted to power.
“Let me promise you, I am promising all of you that when you vote for me, every day, I will give you Kenkey and fish,” Mr Bagbin told the jubilant crowd.
Mr. Bagbin, who was speaking in Tamale at the campaign launch of the Tamale South Constituency of Haruna Iddrissu, played up the infrastructure built by the NDC government and appealed to the electorate to reject the elephant party, because it symbolizes destruction.
“When you have an umbrella, you are looking for a protection, you are looking for unity, you’re looking for care, you’re looking for love; when you’ve an elephant, you’re looking for destruction.
That is why God used the elephant, seven of them and they were going to destroy the Holy Kabbah,” the MP for Nadowli-Kaleo remarked.
He revealed that, the party has set a target of getting two thirds MPs this year, and urged the constituents to add up efforts towards its achievement.