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Politics of Wednesday, 29 July 2020


Vice-presidential slot not preserve of economists - Kwesi Botchwey

Professor Kwesi Botchwey, described Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as meeting every requirement Professor Kwesi Botchwey, described Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as meeting every requirement

Ghana's longest-serving Finance Minister and one of those tipped for the running mate nomination of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has rubbished claims that, having an academic as a Vice-President, will be a difficult ticket for Ghanaian electorates to buy into, in the run-up to the 2020 general elections.

Professor Kwesi Botchwey, described Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as meeting every requirement of a vice-president for Ghana, because she is a very focused person, self-driven, humble and well-spoken for the job ahead, adding she has what it takes to partner the NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.

Reacting to the comparisons between Prof. Opoku-Agyemang and current Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawamia, who is an economist, Prof. Botchwey, disagreed with suggestions that, it is only persons with economics background who are fit for the vice-presidential position, adding she has proven track records to partner Mr Mahama to capture power in the December 7, polls.

"There is nothing in our laws in our constitution anywhere that says that the vice-president must be an economist. What you need is to be a good social analyst, a good social scientist, with the tools to ask the right questions and be focused on the business of national development and that is all you need," said Prof. Botchwey.

Speaking to the media after Prof Opoku-Agyemang's out-dooring at the University of Professional Studies (UPS-A) by Mr Mahama last Monday, evening, Prof Botchwey, admitted that although, his name came up as a possible choice to partner NDC flagbearer, he decided to step back to allow for fresh faces to take up that position and that anybody who is articulate and understands the fundamentals of governance, fits that position.

"I think that every party, our party [NDC] especially has forged a generational transition so that we, the older ones can step back a bit to provide guidance and support," Prof. Botchwey said of Prof Opoku-Agyemang.

"We can't have the same generation or people leading the party. That was my view and I think I've been vindicated; you've seen Naana, she is very focused, she is very driven, she is humble, she is well spoken, she is every bit of what we will want to see in the vice-president. So this is about Naana, it is not about Kwesi Botchwey".

Speaking at the event, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, after her introduction, pledged to be the voice for the voiceless and ensure that she carries their concerns to the highest decision table, if the JM&J ticket is successful at the December polls.

According to the former Education Minister and first female Vice-Chancellor of a public university, many are those who have been energized to register and vote in the upcoming election, because of her selection as running mate to John Dramani Mahama.

She said she is poised and ready for the task ahead, and asked all those who believe in her selection and the course,to get involved and make history.

The former head of the University of Cape Coast, who said this at her outdooring ceremony on Monday, added "We do not intend to disappoint you".

The mother of three, who was full of praise for former President Mahama for his singular decision to select her ahead of many others, said "Many are those who are now more energized to vote, thanks to the momentous decision of JM. I urge them to do just that. We do not intend to disappoint you.

My Boss JM, by your choice, you have turned the struggles of so many women who have come before this moment into a probability".

She said her selection will now afford many who hitherto had no voice or could not reach far with their concerns, the opportunity to be heard and even rise to the top.

"We, men, women, our youth and children- we all have a chance to finally make real our dreams of serving this country at high levels, of removing doubts and proving once again that we are capable.This is the time we have been waiting for. Aloo nyemiyeimimale? Nseyebetum aye? Nyamenye hen boafo", she said in both Ga and Fanti.

The former Minister said her selection was an act of faith she holds in high esteem, while acknowledging the huge responsibility put on her shoulder.

"Yes, it gets emotional sometimes, for which we will not apologize; emotions only confirm our humanity.After serious reflection, consultations, prayers, and encouragement of colleagues, friends, and family, I am happy to have accepted the nomination to be the running mate of the presidential candidate of the great National Democratic Congress.

This is an act of faith I do not take lightly, at all. I do not underrate the huge responsibilities and expectations that come with the call. I call on us all to translate our excitement into action for the benefit of the good people of our beloved country".

The woman who has attracted several men, women, leading to some forming groups like #Iamwithhermovement just to canvass support for her to become the first female vice president said "I accepted the nomination because it is an opportunity to serve my country once again, albeit at a higher level. In God do I continue to trust, that I may never be confounded. The Methodists know where this line is coming from.

I am deeply humbled by the trust of our party and nation and I am excited to make the case to the good people of Ghana as to why the J&J ticket is best poised to confront the daunting challenges of our time and usher Ghana into recovery and prosperity".

She went on "It will be my mission to ensure that the voices and concerns of our children, our youth and our aged, and our persons with disabilities are reflected in critical decisions.

Together, we can strategize to solve long-standing problems of needless and unproductive discrimination, and thrive as valued citizens. I want you, all of us in whatever demographic category to know, that I will carry your voices forward".

Having become the first female vice president candidate on the ticket of one of the two major political parties Prof Opoku-Agyemang paid glowing tribute to the many who came before her.

"Men and women together have accomplished fantastic things in our history. But I must also acknowledge that today, I stand on the shoulders of many giants who came before me. Throughout our history, women have always played pivotal roles in the advancement of our country.

When duty called, our women too, responded. We all have in mind great heroines who, by their actions, shattered the concept that women alone must be restricted by ceilings and limitations", she said.

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