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Opinions of Saturday, 23 May 2020

Columnist: Mathias Alagbo (Kabila)

Who is best suited to be the Running Mate


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For some time now, many people keep asking who is best suited to be the Running Mate for H.E. John Mahama for the 2020 Presidential elections?

Without looking far, two persons in my personal opinion are outstanding and one should definitely win the day. They are, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah. These two astute, long-serving politicians who have engraved their deeds on the walls of nearly every Ghanaian's heart and names on the annals of history need no introduction.

· Dr. Kwabena Duffuor was a chief economist and head of research department at Ghana commercial bank in the 1970s.

· He was appointed an external examiner in finance from 1985 at the University of Ghana.

· In 1995, he became deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana.

· In July 1997, President Jerry Rawlings appointed him as the governor of the Central bank. He held this position till his four-year term ended in September 2001

· He was named as one of the four best Central Bank Governors in the World at an IMF/World Bank meeting in 1999. In 1998, he was voted "Personality of the Year" by the Independent newspaper in Ghana

· He was appointed finance minister during Prof. John Atta Mills's tenure, in 2009

· In February 2002, the Rural Bankers’ Association of Ghana honoured Dr. Duffuor for his immense contribution to the development of the Rural Banking sector in the country

· In March 2003, Dr. Duffuor was appointed chairman of the Presidential Committee on Promotion and Revitalization of the Industrial Sector on Sustainable Basis.

· Again in December 2003, the governments of Ghana and Denmark jointly appointed him to the chairmanship of the Programme Committee for the Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS) which the Danish Government sponsored for the Ghanaian Private Sector Development for the period 2003–08.

· Dr. Duffuor is currently the chairman of Ghana Heart Foundation and Kumawuman Rural Bank.

· He has also served in a number of directorship positions in various companies, including Accra Brewery Limited, Shell Ghana Limited, Ecobank Cote d'Ivoire, State Gold Mining Corporation. Ghana Cocoa Board, Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, and, Ghana International Bank Plc. London where he was the board chairman between 1998 and 2001.

· He is a Fellow of the Akuafo Hall, University of Ghana, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

· Dr. Duffuor is also the founder and chairman of HODA Holdings, a business entity comprising Insurance, Banking, Real Estates, Farming, Mining and Media. He is equally the founder and president of the Institute for Fiscal Studies in Ghana, a non-profit think-tank providing economic advocacy, advisory services and training which he established in March 2013 with the support of other like-minded professionals. Dr.Duffuor is currently being persecuted for who he is, where he is coming from, and for a day like this.

This deep background gives him a befitting foundation that can support him hold the post of the vice presidency in Ghana thus, nominating him to be the running mate of the presidential candidate for NDC, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is a sign of maturity for those who have to make the choice.

Honorable Johnson Asiedu Nketiah:

Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is a popular figure in Ghana, affectionately called General Mosquito. His uniqueness is not hard to notice. He has always been a crowd-puller; a rare breed in the political arena. Being the longest-serving General Secretary of the NDC, the most successful political party in Ghana’s history for a very long time, he has proven beyond all reasonable doubts that he is one of the best politicians Ghana can find during our time.

· In 1983, he read Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Banking and Finance option) and graduated with a Second Class Upper Honors. After graduating, he was posted to GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited and successfully rose to leadership.

· He led the establishment of a rural bank in his home town and became the manager for the Nkoraman Rural Bank

· He was the trainee manager of Sehwi Asawinso Rural Bank during a professional training program for managers by the Bank of Ghana.

· During this period, the Ghana Stock Exchange was established, and he was nominated for the pioneer postgraduate training programme, mostly for bank managers, in stock brokerage and investment analysis.

· He opted to work for the National Trust Holding Company Limited (NTHC) as a stockbroker and an investment banker

· He obtained a Master of Science Degree in Defense and International Politics from the Ghana Armed Forces Command College in 2019, and his thesis was on Anti-Corruption infrastructure in the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

· Mr. Nketia contested the 1988 Wenchi District Assembly elections, won and was later nominated to the National Consultative Assembly.

· He contested the Wenchi West seat and won as a Member of Parliament. He spent 12 years in Parliament and served on several committees, including Appointments Committee, Finance Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Chairman - Mines and Energy Committee, ranking MEMBER for Food and Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, Deputy Majority Chief Whip among others.

· While in Parliament, he also served as Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of crops under the Jerry John Rawlings administration. During this period he piloted cashew, sunflower and cotton, and successfully commercialized sunflower and cashew cultivation in Ghana.

· Mr Asiedu Nketiah was nominated by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana to be a member of the International Parliamentary Union from 1997 – 2005.

· After a successful three terms in Parliament, stepped down in 2005 to retire from parliamentary politics and briefly joined his family in Canada to think about the way forward for his party and the socio-economic and political development of his country. At the party’s delegate congress in December 2005, he won with over 80% and became the 3rd General Secretary of the NDC. The re-election contest held in Tamale in January 2010, he had a 93% vote of confidence and repeated same feat in 2014 in Kumasi to retain his position as the General Secretary. The most recent one was between him and Korku Anyidoho which he won.

· He is loved by many and a lover of peace who in several occasions mediated on peacebuilding and solving cracks and disputes within the party.

· Mr. Nketiah represented both the NDC and former President John Mahama as principal witnesses in court, to affirm NDC’s victory in the presidential elections’ appeal proceedings of 2012.

· In 2017, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah was elected Vice President of Socialist International in absentia at Cartagena to succeed the former Prime Minister of Portugal and current UN Sectetary General, Antonio Guterres. He was elected to serve under the current President of the Organization, George Papandroeu, who doubles as the Prime Minister of Greece.

The list goes on and on, affirming that, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah is more than qualified and deserves to serve as the Vice President of the nation should NDC win the Presidential elections of 2020. Nominating him to the position of the running mate could make this possible and it will be a good thing for the NDC and eventually for Ghana.

With the rich profiles of both candidates, NDC would stand a greater chance of winning the presidential elections if any of these gentlemen, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor or Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is nominated to the running mate slot.

I will be surprised if the selection goes beyond them . Long live the NDC, Long live Ghana.

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