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General News of Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

'What does Prof Opoku-Agyemang bring to the ticket?’ - NDC presents 3 answers

Following the nomination of Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate of John Dramani Mahama in the next presidential election, the question on the lips of many is what the accomplished academic brings to the table.

While many do not doubt her accomplishments in academia, critics say her tenure as Education Minister was not exactly excellent and may just point to her administration if the National Democratic Congress campaign is successful in December 2020.

However, for the first time, the NDC has presented three things the renowned Professor brings to the John-Jane ticket ahead of the crucial polls later this year.

NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, told Ghanaweb in an exclusive interview what the Professor brings to the table is inherent in her spectacular academic achievements.

According to Sammy Gyamfi, what she brings to the ticket can be categorised under three areas: Education development, Integrity, results.

Education development

To be clear, Prof Opoku-Agyemang's accomplishments have earned her prestigious recognitions both in Ghana and abroad and is currently a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; the University Teachers Association of Ghana; English Studies Association; African Studies Association, United States; African Literature Association, the United States and International Fulbright Scholars Association, Commonwealth of Learning to list a few.

“At a time that the Free Senior High School policy has become a major problem for this country; where our secondary education system has been reduced to a mere double-track system of education, which is affecting the quality of education, affecting the contact hours of secondary school students are having in schools and imposing untoward hardships on parents, who are having to pay more for vacation classes…and all that, thereby eroding the very purpose of the Free SHS policy, we need such an accomplished and experienced educationist,” Sammy Gyamfi told Ghanaweb.

He said education will be big on the next John Mahama government if the electioneering campaign is successful.

The NDC Communications Officer explained that it is the commitment of John Mahama to transform, not just secondary education, but the entire educational system founded on quality and access for citizens.

“We believe that Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang is that safe pair of hands to make this vision of John Mahama a reality,” Sammy Gyamfi told Ghanaweb.

Integrity

The NDC is also banking on the unblemished character of Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang to brighten the John-Jane ticket.

John Mahama lost the 2016 election to Nana Akufo-Addo after four years of scandal-laden administration. In dying embers of his first term, John Mahama was hit with bribery allegation in which an investigative journalist who claimed he accepted a Ford Escape as a gift from a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.

That incident and previous ones contributed to the dimming of John Mahama’s chances in the 2016 elections and contributed in no small measure to the corrupt-politician tag on the former President.

John Mahama will, therefore, need a running mate with no political baggage.

“There are certain attributes of leadership inherent in Prof Opoku-Agyemang that are missing in the current government – attributes of integrity, maturity, and excellence.

“Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang has unblemished integrity and substance. She is God-fearing, humble honest, decent. She is somebody the people of this country can trust,” Sammy Gyamfi touted.

He added that currently, the office of the Vice President lacks seriousness and integrity but Prof Opoku-Agyemang will restore that.

“She will restore the integrity of Vice Presidency, which has been lost under the current administration in the last three and half years,” he stressed.

Results

Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s proven track record of delivery is another thing she comes to the John-Jane ticket with, Sammy Gyamfi told Ghanaweb.

“She is an achiever, she is very competent and effective in discharging responsibilities entrusted to her care,” he said.

He said under her supervision as Education Minister under John Mahama’s administration, 124 community-based SHS were started and 46 of which were completed and commissioned – proof that the learned Professor will effectively deliver on her mandate if she becomes a Vice President.

Regarding concerns that because Prof Opoku-Agyemang is not an economist she won't be able to chair the Economic Management Team as has become the norm for Vice President, Sammy Gyamfi disagrees.

"The EMT is a collective responsibility. You don't need to be an Economist to Chair such a body," he said.

According to him Prof Opoku-Agyemang as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast administered affairs the university most effectively, a testament that she can deliver on every task entrusted to her.

With less than six months to the general elections, the debate about whether Prof Opoku-Agyemang's nomination is a masterstroke or not is likely to continue, maybe even after the crucial Presidential polls.

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