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OPINION: John Mahama must not repeat the mistake of Prof. Jane Opoku – Agyemang

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Empires, Kingdoms and Nations survive and flourish only because they make the strategic decision and choice of succession and inheritance beyond the next of kin.

Whereas Ghana is not a Monarchy nor an Empire, we are a Nation of People whose existence is largely dependent on the political harmony which has become an envy to most developing countries.

The successful change of governments through the ballot box has seen the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assume political & economic power to govern the citizenry and the subjects on varied manifestos since 1992

However subtle we may think the choice of a Vice Presidential candidate may be a political theatre, one must not forget the choice is indicative of the Presidential candidate’s vision primarily for him/herself, secondarily for his Party and finally for the Country (In No Particular Order)

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In the history of Vice-Presidential Candidates and their influence on political victories, we must first note that the Hegemonic power which is the United States of America has an exemplary list beginning from the first President George Washington.

“After serving as the nation’s first vice president under George Washington, John Adams became the second president of the United States in 1797.

Since John Adams, we have seen, the likes of George H Bush, and the current President Joe Biden breaking the barrier”. (Source: https://www.insider.com/vice-presidents-who-became-president- 2020-12) Fun Fact: 15 US Vice Presidents have been Elected President

The National Democratic Congress is one special beehive of talents just like the earth where we all enter through the same door and work to the success of the “colony”.

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In our own brief democratic history in Ghana, the NDC has successfully produced Two (2) Vice Presidents to become Presidents. (Prof. John Evans Attah – Mills & John Dramani Mahama) an achievement unparalleled yet underappreciated within our own party.

Cutting to the unpleasant depth of the matter is as simple as this, Professor Jane Naana Opoku – Agyemang as a Vice Presidential Candidate was a preventable calamity in 2020 and will be a disaster if repeated in 2024.

Her candidacy was abysmal, nonmotivational and unproductive to the political cause which offered little or fleeting farthing of inspiration to women voters and her own Fante Tribe in general.

Choices determines decision, decisions lead to actions and actions produces results (Positive or Negative)

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In essence, her candidacy was a political failure for the NDC.

His Excellency President Jerry John Rawlings saw the future of the NDC Party and Ghana beyond his tenure of office and selected Professor John Evans Attah-Mills as his running mate and successor and he was vindicated for his choice and decision.

Professor John Evans Attah – Mills wisely selected John Dramani Mahama which brought Ghana to the crucial historical moment where Ghana witnessed a historic transition of power and subsequent election victory in 2012.

However, Former President John Mahama failed to continue the tradition his predecessors set. President Mahama defied the Elders, Advisors, sympathizers, comrades, and the entire NDC Tradition on his selection of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku -Agyemang after the passing of Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur (MHSRIP)

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The party devotees were unmotivated by the Vice-Presidential candidate but mustered courage and voted massively for the NDC in the hopes for a better Ghana but unsuccessful.

Truthfully, there were more qualified and electable candidates proposed to Candidate John Mahama but were ignored or overlooked without much consideration for continuity of legacy after his tenure. The result, a momentous failure in 2020 (Not discounting the alleged vote stealing by the NPP)

In the post-election internal analysis of 2020, it was noted within the rank and file of the NDC the choice of Vice-Presidential Candidate was more of a liability for the NDC than an asset.

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Difficult to admit publicly but needed to be said regardless that President John Mahama squandered the goodwill of the masses and sympathizers in 2020 and maybe on the precipice of repeating same mistake in 2024 by dragging along Prof. Jane Naana Opoku -Agyemang into another needless doom.

The criticism is not personal but political as concerned NDC empathizers both ‘Card Bearing’ members and the general masses have keen interest in the 2024 elections as to who will be the next possible flagbearer beyond Mahama.

Realistically, the challenge for Ex- Pres. John Mahama remains the same as it was in 2020, settle on a “Submissive Candidate” or select a “Future Successor”

Amateur Recommendations:

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Here is my unsolicited counsel for Pres. John Mahama is selecting a viable Vice – Presidential Candidate;

  1. Young in age – Below 55 years of age
  2. Must have political capital within his/her immediate Constituency
  3. Charismatic
  4. Adept with 21st Century Politics, Economics, International Relations and InformationTechnology.

The Brookings Institution summarizes the qualities for selecting a Vice President in a simpler term;

“… in an ideal world the vice-presidential candidate would be a person who could help the ticket to win and help the president to govern and be ready to step into the office should something happen to the president .” (Source:https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/07/07/picking-the-vice- president/)

Can Prof. Jane Naana Opoku – Agyemang be considered as such a candidate described above?

Trust me, the 2024 General elections will not be an Election of screaming on political podiums “Tsooooo boe —Hey.

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It will be a ruthless modern political warfare, the like of which we have never witnessed in Ghana.

Beginning from the Primaries in the NPP to the general elections, nothing is going to be subtle neither will it be predictable.

The NDC must engage in New Strategies and invest in Information Technology and Strategic Policies to attract the youth and most importantly tap into the underrepresented Ghanaian women who have remained under utilized since the marginalization of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) in the party. (Topic for Another Day)

(Prof. Jane Naana Opoku – Agyemang failed to galvanize enthusiasm from women voters in 2020) 2024 Matters!!! We must speak Now!!!
Prof. Jane Naana Opoku – Agyemang was a liability in 2020 and will be a Disaster for NDC in 2024.

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Things to Do:

  • The NDC leadership must show concerted unified effort in ensuring the Party is not abandoned to a few self-serving peddlers whose motivation remains personal benefits to the detriment of the entire NDC tradition
  • The silent majority of NDC empathizers and followers in Ghana and in the diaspora must be recruited in a united battle to rescue Ghana from the grips of thieves and plunderers.
  • We call upon the Elders and Kingmakers of the NDC Tradition to come back into the fold and help build a formidable campaign team for 2024It will be inexcusable and unforgivable to repeat the mistakes of 2020 in 2024.

    Having a good discussion is like having riches and in this spirit that we are appealing to Candidate John Dramani Mahama to heed the concerns and seek the counsel of the Party Elders in the process of selecting a viable Vice -Presidential candidate for victory in 2024.

    Remember, “Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.”

    Author. Bill Bedzrah – “Member, NDC Diaspora Forum”.