Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has said, on his 72nd birthday that: “Inside me, I feel very relevant and alive.”
Quoting the maxim ‘age is just a number’, the three-time flagbearer of Ghana’s biggest opposition party said Tuesday in an interview with Kasapa FM’s Fiifi Banson that he felt “young” despite his age.
Nana Akufo-Addo was born in Swalaba, Accra. He was brought up in Ga Maamli (Accra Central) and in the Nima area of Accra. His father’s residence, Betty House, at Korle Wokon in Accra, was effectively the headquarters of the country’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), after it was formed at Saltpond on 4 August 1947. Three of the ‘Big Six’ — the founding fathers of Ghana — were his relatives: J. B. Danquah (grand uncle), William Ofori Atta (uncle) and Edward Akufo-Addo (the third Chief Justice of Ghana and later ceremonial President of the Republic from 1969 to 1972), who was his father.
Nana Addo received his primary education at the Government Boys School and went to O’Reilly Secondary School, and later at the Rowe Road School (now Kinbu), both in Accra Central. He went to England to study for his O Level and A Level examinations at Lancing College, Sussex. He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at Accra Academy before going to read Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964, earning a BSc (Econ) degree in 1967. He subsequently studied law in the UK and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971. Akufo-Addo was called to the Ghana Bar in July 1975 along with notable Ghanaian politicians such as Nana Ato Dadzie and Tsatsu Tsikata.
He first run for president in 2008 as flagbearer of the NPP but was beaten by late Prof John Evans Atta Mills. His second attempt in 2012 was also unsuccessful. He was beaten by President John Mahama. The November 2016 polls will be his third attempt. His critics in the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) have often cited his age as a disadvantage saying it was better for Ghana to have a younger president in Mr John Mahama (his arch-rival) than vote for a 72-year-old politician to lead the country. Mr Akufo-Addo has always rebuffed such criticisms saying he has a lot of fire in his belly.