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02.06.2008 Politics

Lower age for Presidency – Obuor

By Daily Graphic
Lower age for Presidency – Obuor
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Hiplife musician, Bice Osei-Kuffuor, aka Obuor, has veered off the showbiz arena where he has laid his claim into the unfamiliar territory of politics to launch a vigorous campaign for a constitutional amendment to reduce the minimum age for qualification to contest the high office of President of Ghana.

“I believe the Constitution is not fair to the youth by pegging the age to contest for the Presidency at 40 .... Cutting out the youth entirely from holding that position is not good for the nation. I know elsewhere, it is not 40 but they have a very good economy”, he said.

Obuor, accompanied by his spokesperson and Communication Director, Nana Yaw Osei Darkwa, walked into the offices of the Daily Graphic last Thursday to protest against what he described as the "raw deal" being meted out to the youth in respect of high political positions, particularly the Presidency.

"This is a youth revolution", he declared, pointing out that his audience with the Daily Graphic was only the beginning of a vigorous national campaign aimed at rallying support for an amendment of the Constitution to ensure that the youth got the chance to become President.

Article 62 (b) of the Constitution provides that a person shall not be qualified for election as the President of Ghana unless he has attained the age of 40 years.

However, the 2005 Ghana Music Award celebrity said that constitutional provision was inappropriate because there was a large number of the youth below 40 years who were very well qualified and had the ability to become President of Ghana, insisting that it was time to give the youth a chance.

He did not understand why the constitutional framers deemed it fit to peg the voting age at 18 but the qualification age for President at 40, adding that although he was not advocating the reduction of the qualification age for President to 18, the age limit ought to be reduced from 40.

“If you have to be 40 before you have the wisdom to manage the affairs of the state and people who are not 40 are voting you into power, then you are ruling by default”, he argued.

Obuor, who read Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, graduating in 2005, and is currently a student of Leadership and Governance, said the allusion that old age was synonymous with maturity and wisdom, for which reason the qualification age for the President might have been pegged at 40, was very erroneous.

According to Obuor, the demands of the office of President in the current global dispensation required a lot of energy and that put the youth in a better stead to be vested with such political authority.

He said the youth constituted majority of the country's voter population and so to deny them the opportunity to be President or serve in other high political offices amounted to a raw deal against them.

Obuor said the youth had been marginalised for far too long in so many national endeavours and indicated that his campaign was to provoke a national debate on the issue.

The popular hiplife musician said his campaign was not for self aggrandisement but in the larger interest of the youth, many of whom had demonstrated mental fortitude and capacity to serve in the high office of President.

When asked whether he is nurturing a personal ambition to be President of Ghana, he responded with a broad smile; "If not now, in the future".

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