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It’s John and Jane again

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The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has kept faith with Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the 2024 presidential election.

Although Mr Mahama has scheduled to officially submit the name of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast to the NDC’s Council of Elders and the National Executive Committee on March 7, 2024, multiple party sources have confirmed to the Daily Graphic that Prof. Opoku-Agyemang remains the preferred candidate.

The pair worked together during the 2020 presidential election, and retaining Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, a former Minister of Education under the presidency of Mr Mahama, is considered not only strategic but someone already marketed and well-known.

Her retention would also eliminate any potential conflict with women and affirmative activists desiring for more women in high decision-making positions.

It also brings to an end agitation from groups within the party calling for a new candidate from either the Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono or Eastern regions.

Profile

Regarded as a woman of integrity, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, the second female running mate of the two leading political parties in the country, has been associated with the NDC as far back as 1996 when she hosted the popular Radio Gold programme, ‘Platform’.

She interviewed then President, Jerry John Rawlings, in the build-up to the 1996 presidential election.

She also co-hosted the 2012 Institute of Economic Affairs sponsored presidential debates.

Moreover, since the party lost the 2020 presidential election, she has been on the ground not only campaigning for the NDC, but also undertaking charitable activities to support needy people across the country.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s chances appeared to have been boosted when the special aide to the flag bearer of the NDC, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, advocated the re-selection of a female running mate for her boss in the 2024 polls.

“The NDC has a constitution that stipulates the rights to who runs with any flag bearer at any given time, directing the decision of the flag bearer.

 I’m sure he has a whole gamut of individuals to choose from, and I have no doubt in my mind that Naana Opoku-Agyemang will still come up for enormous consideration,” Mrs Bawa Mogtari said at the launch of the Obaasima Academy in Accra.

Background

The choice of a suitable running mate to the flag bearer is crucial to the success of the opposition party’s ride to the Jubilee House, the seat of government.

The role of a running mate is pivotal; it extends beyond the ceremonial to the strategic, potentially shaping the electoral landscape of the country.

The upcoming presidential vote is expected to be keenly contested.

No party has ever won more than two consecutive terms, a feat the ruling New Patriotic Party is bent on achieving, while the NDC led by its flag bearer is seriously campaigning to return to power after eight years in opposition.

Party’s statement

A statement announcing the crucial meeting scheduled for March 7, 2024, signed by the party’s General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said Mr Mahama would on

March 7, 2024, present his nomination of his running mate to the Council of Elders for consideration.

This will be in accordance with Article 45 of the NDC Constitution.

It said the Council of Elders meeting, which would take place at 11 a.m. to deliberate the matter, would be followed by a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) at 2 p.m. on the same day to further consider the nomination.

“The venue and logistical details for these meetings will be communicated directly to all participants in due course.

 The NDC is confident that the running mate will bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and dedication to our campaign,” it said.

It said the selection would undoubtedly complement the vision of Mr Mahama “as we collectively strive to ‘Build the Ghana We Want together’ ”.

The statement said the party, united in purpose, was committed to working tirelessly towards a positive transformation and progress of the country.

It expressed gratitude to the party’s supporters for “their steadfast loyalty and unwavering commitment” and urged them to join hands in embarking on the journey towards a brighter future for Ghana.

Candidates

Prior to this moment, a number of names, including Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, had come up as possible nominees.

The others are the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV; a former Chief of Staff to President Mahama, Julius Debrah; an economist, Dr Nii Moi Thompson; the NDC Member of Parliament for Asunafo, Eric Opoku; and retired Police Commissioner, Nathan Kofi Boakye.

SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE