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Fri, Jul

Confirmed: Nana Akufo-Addo to contest 2016 Election on NPP ticket

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo says he will contest the 2016 Presidential Election.

Nana Addo made the announcement Thursday at his Nima residence in Accra.

He will now contest the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primaries later this year.

Outlining the basis for the decision, Nana Addo said there had been overwhelming calls from Ghanaians with the "unanimous message" that he should contest the Presidential Election  in 2016.

He said he had consulted his family, party members, chiefs, religious leaders and elders in society before reaching the decision.

"I received daily phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages and regular visits from Ghanaians with unanimous message that I should remain in frontline politics and contest in 2016."

The 69-year-old former Minister of State said members of the NPP had informed him that he represented the party's best chance to win the Presidential Election in 2016.

Nana Addo also told the enthusiastic supporters who besieged his house that his wife, Rebecca, and daughters had given him the go-ahead to contest the 2016 election. 

He said despite the disappointment of losing the 2008 and 2012 elections, "I cannot ignore these calls".

Nana Addo said: "With great humility therefore I can announce that when the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready, God willing, to contest for the position of NPP presidential candidate for the 2016 General Election."

Responding to concerns regarding his age, Nana Addo said he had undergone a series of medical tests in Ghana and the United Kingdom and was "spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, physically, intellectually and patriotically strong enough to remain in the hurly burly of frontline politics".

"I’m grateful that so many people consider me worthy to lead this party even at the young age of 70," he said.

"Fortunately for me, I chose two careers where there is no retirement – law and politics," he added. 

The veteran lawyer, politician and human rights activist expressed gratitude to the NPP rank and file for giving him the opportunity to lead the party into the 2008 and 2012 elections.

He said despite the losses in 2008 and 2012, the NPP should be proud of its contribution to the consolidation of democracy in Ghana.

He made reference to the NPP's immediate acceptance of the Election Petition verdict, which affirmed President John Mahama's victory in the 2012 Presidential Election.  

He said: "We showed responsible citizenship and put the nation first - ahead of our desire for power, because of our love for Ghana.

"We might have lost the 2012 battle, but when the history of this period is told, I’m confident that it will be favourable to the NPP.

"Ghana’s image a peaceful, stable democracy has been greatly enhanced by the decision the NPP took."

Touching on his vision for the Ghana, Nana Addo said he aimed to oversee the structural transformation of the economy and the elimination of corruption in the country.

He said the current economic difficulties demand efficient leadership, noting that most of the problems can be traced to widespread corruption and the "apparent inability on the part of the current leadership" to fight it.

"The depressing reality is that corruption is costing the nation jobs, as government chooses to pay more money for less. Corruption is denying our children money to fund their education," he emphasised.

He expressed hope that Ghanaians, irrespective of their political leanings, will buy into his vision and catapult him to victory in the 2016 election.

Nana Addo's announcement of his 2016 Presidential bid comes two weeks after his return from the UK, where he was based for six months, "reflecting" on his political future and engaging in consultations, following his Election Petition loss in August 2013. 

Listen to Nana Addo's speech: