How Prof. Opoku Agyemang’s appointment puts NPP communicators in a tight corner

Prof. Jane Naana Opoku and John Mahama

It is an undeniable fact that John Dramani Mahama was set out to look for someone he could use as a shield, and not just a running mate. The long search seems to be working for him. He got ample time to consider all factors before making the best choice he has made.

When he announced his interest in running for the office of the president again, members of the ruling New Patriotic Party were happy about it. John Mahama is the favourite person for the New Patriotic Party in this year’s election. The NPP got a smooth campaign in 2016 because of how vulnerable John Dramani Mahama’s candidature was. We are all witnesses to the type of campaign the NPP engaged in before the 2016 general elections. They sent their “attack dogs” after the person of John Dramani Mahama and made him look corrupt and incompetent. The mention of Ford Expedition brings a lot into memories.

The then Vice president and the running mate for the National Democratic Congress, His Excellency Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur of blessed memory, was not left out. That was the period the vice-presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia started his town hall meetings and series of lectures on the economy.

In one of his lectures, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia gave the vice president, H.E. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur 170 questions to answer on the economy. The National Democratic Congress members and communicators came out to say the vice president would come out and deflate the ego of the “noise-making Bawumia”. Ghanaians were anxiously waiting for the biggest economic debate in Ghana only to be disappointed by the vice president. That was one of the many factors that weakened the NDC’s campaign.

Both the Flagbearer and the running mate of the NDC were bundled together and lambasted by the NPP, and that cost them their defeat.

Like I stated earlier, John Dramani Mahama was looking for a shield and not just a running mate. He needed someone who was unblemished and does not have any corruption tag. And it appears he has found just that by bringing in a female. The New Patriotic Party is going to have a tough time this time around, unlike what happened in 2016. They are going to fight two groups and no longer one.

Professor Jane Naana Opoku
Professor Jane Naana Opoku

All the feminist groups will stand up against any comment or statement that will come from the NPP against the vice-presidential candidate of the NDC. Most of the gender activists believe it is time to have women empowerment and would go every extent to ensure that the few women who put themselves up for high leadership positions are not verbally abused. This is going to make the fight of the New Patriotic Party a hard one.

I have sighted some news articles that some comments by the New Patrotic Party executives which have been interpreted as anti-women or misogynistic. One was made by the General Secretary for the ruling New Patriotic Party, John Boadu. He said that Professor Jane Naana Opoku would only have head porters cheering her on when she goes out for campaign because she is not known. This would have ordinarily been a usual political jab if it was to a man.

Another statement that was taken with a pinch of salt came from the Majority leader of Ghana’s parliament Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu.

“Calm woman; a woman of poise and balance. She speaks good English but is it good enough to satisfy the ticket? Let’s not forget; perish the thought, I’m not wishing that, but let’s assume that John becomes the President and the next day he is no longer, is this woman capable of being described as the President of the republic? And that has nothing to do with her person. I’m talking about the quality in governance that could affect and effect this country, is she that person? I don’t think so at all”.

Many male politicians have been described in a more derogatory terms than this before, but never did we hear any group of men coming to their defence. The Communicators of the New Patriotic Party should choose their words very well in the manner they describe the running mate of the opposition party; otherwise, they would attract disaffection to their party. The gender activists are wide awake and are ready to devour anyone who speaks ill of a female. The more they attack her, the more their party becomes unattractive to women.

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