• Kofi Amoabin

Is Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang Qualified as a Vice-President

Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang

The appointment of Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, as the running mate for former President John Mahama has dominated the news since the distinguished professor ascended to the number two spot on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.

Without question, Professor Naana Opoku Agyemang is more than qualified to for the VP slot.

To the leaders of the New Patriotic Party, the National Democratic Congress has not asked NPP to approve Prof. Opoku Agyemang. The answer when questioned if she is qualified or not is that it is none of my business, to say it bluntly.

Only President Mahama knows why Prof Opoku Agyemang is the best for the VP slot.

NPP scores zero points in attacking or by stating that she cannot meet the demands of the VP job.

Focusing so much attention on Prof Opoku Agyemang detracts attention from NPP in highlighting the achievements of President Akufo-Addo, five-months to the general election.

The NDC has stated clearly that the December 7 presidential election is a referendum on Nana Akufo-Addo. A referendum means a yes or no vote, so what issue is so overarching that the NDC finds so detestable enough to hang the whole election?

Usually, when an incumbent president is challenged and the election is turned into a referendum, it means the incumbent government has performed so poorly on one or two issues that the opposition stands ready to present to voters for an up or down vote.

In the US, four presidents have lost their reelection bids in over a century - President Herbert Hoover (31st), President Ford (38th), President Jimmy Carter (39th), and President George H. W. Bush (41st). For Hoover, the US was in depression. For Ford, he pardoned Nixon for crimes committed as president. For Carter, the main issues were inflation, high energy prices, and American hostages held in Iran. For Bush, it was the recession America faced after the Gulf War.

In all four cases, the issues were so clear that a referendum favored Roosevelt to beat Hoover, Carter to beat Ford, Reagan to beat Carter, and Clinton to beat Bush.

Coming back to Ghana, in this third competition between Nana Akufo-Addo and Mahama, no issues stand out for the NDC to call a referendum on the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo.

Voter intensity, the ability of party activists to do the kind of work that promotes the candidate, could bring more NDC voters to the polls than 2016. Bear in mind, most incumbent governments face voter apathy, because resources are limited and apparatchiks with better social standing get better jobs. But, in 2016, candidate Akufo-Addo beat former president Mahama by almost a million votes.

The marking scheme that voters will follow on Dec 7 was presented to Ghana in 2016, therefore President Akufo-Addo needs honest assessment on what has gone well. In addition, Ghanaians are waiting to hear what President Akufo-Addo has for 2020 to 2024.

Therefore, NPP leaders, the picture of Prof Naana Opoku Agyemang will not be on the ballot so grab your note pads and go region to region, district to district, constituency to constituency, electoral area to electoral area, polling station to polling station, and door to door, reviewing and spreading the good works of President Akufo-Addo.

The author holds an MA degree in political communication from DePaul University and is available as a political/campaign consultant.