Politics

It’s politically unwise to change Prof Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang As Running Mate To John Mahama-Deputy C/R Youth Org.

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The speculations and discussions after the election of H.E John Dramani Mahama as the flagbearer of the NDC in the 2024 election is the question of who becomes his running mate. Nonetheless, it is politically suicidal to change the candidature of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang for any other person.

I would restrict myself to only 4 thematic areas [Integrity, Regional Influence, The Gender Debate, and Experience] on why we must maintain the candidature of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang as a political party.

INTEGRITY
It is an undeniable fact that Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang served with integrity as the Minister of Education. With remarkably less time than many of her contemporaries, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang rose from lecturer to full professor. She is a renowned academic and professional on a global scale.
The Incoming President John Dramani Mahama cited Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang’s integrity and credentials as one of the reasons for her nomination as the running mate for the 2020 elections on July 6, 2020.
She has also served as Ghana’s representative to UNESCO’s Executive Board, a position she was elected to in 2009. The Ghana Women of Excellence Award has been conferred on the professor in distinction of her contribution to the development and promotion of quality education in Ghana.

The basic question I would want to ask the lobbyists is: “Have those compliments, accomplishments, and credentials of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang faded out so soon”? Or were those compliments, accomplishments, and credentials of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang false?

REGIONAL INFLUENCE
Politically, the central region, the home region of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, has been known as one of the regions that determines Ghana’s presidential election outcomes for the last two decades.
The appointment of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang as the running mate in the 2020 elections added more political gains to the fortunes of the NDC in the Central region. The parliamentary seats in the central region increased from 4 in 2016 to 13 seats in the 2020 elections whereas presidential votes increased from 405,262 votes in 2016 to 524,038 votes. An appreciation of 118,776 votes, which constitutes almost 30% increment in votes. I must also say that no tertiary institution in the central region, and for that matter, Ghana, got single-digit votes in their respective polling stations as experienced in 2016.
All these successes didn’t happen in a vacuum or by default, but through conscious collaboration by the office of the running mate, the regional executives, and other stakeholders in the region. It is, however, unfair for anybody to conclude that the appointment of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang didn’t add any gains to the party in the Central Region, where she hails from.

*GENDER DEBATE*

Let us appreciate the fact that the appointment of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang as the first female running mate has been good news for Ghana and an inspiration to many women across the country and beyond. Many young women have been inspired by the fact that a female was appointed as a running mate, not because she is a woman who is providing how the complex glass ceiling can be shattered, but because she qualifies in her own right and has distinguished herself both as an academic and a minister.

The re-appointment of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang in the 2024 election would continue to reaffirm our readiness as a party to open up the space for more women to come into decision-making at the highest level.

EXPERIENCE
Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, as the first female Chief Executive Officer [Vice Chancellor] of a large public university, managed a population of over 74,000 students and many business and academic units. As the first female Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, she was tactful and diplomatic. Planning and coordination, interpersonal skills, communication, vision, critical research capacity, economics and budgeting, fundraising, and complex and leadership skills are some of the notable capabilities of the noble Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang.

As a minister of Education, she worked with Integrity and did marvelous work to the admiration of all. These are some of the successes chocked;
She abolished the Colleges of Education’s quota system, which increased enrolment from 9,400 to 15,400 and gave the youth more opportunities to teach.
She also made sure that teachers were automatically posted without having to pass the National Service and Licensure Exams.
She started a large-scale infrastructure development program at all public tertiary institutions.
She increased the capitation grant by 100% for 11,650 public basic schools in 75 deprived districts.
Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang has demonstrated exceptional qualities as a good listener and a role model for many.

As a former running mate of the party in the 2020 election who has gone through the length and breadth of the country and knows the dynamics of every region, I am overly confident that she has gathered more experience, has revised her political notes, and will be exploiting them in the coming days when her mandate is renewed.

In summary, changing Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang would be suicidal for the party at this critical moment. Her integrity, gender debate, regional influence, and experience would still be needed in the upcoming elections.
In 2020, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang brought integrity, substance, and most notably, leadership and managerial experience, and for that matter, we must maintain her to remain focused, stay united, and build a formidable political party toward the 2024 elections.

Kojo Gyamfi
Deputy Central Regional Youth Organiser
[0241860390]

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