NDC running mate Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang last Monday night bemoaned what in her opinion is a situation where protective institutions in the country are being turned into agents of intimidation.
Speaking when she was formally presented as a running mate of former President John Mahama on the ticket of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), she left nobody in doubt how she is going to engage innuendos in her campaign.
“In the face of the troubles Ghana is encountering, some people are behaving as if the best antidote to all of these is to flex muscles, turn aspects of our protective institutions into agents of intimidation,” she said.
In a subtle reference to the challenge mechanisms at the registration centres, she said some people had arrogated to themselves “the right to alienate people who have always lived on this part of our continent long before some did, and who have served our country with distinction.”
It was a clever way of taking exception to the efforts taken not to allow non-Ghanaians to register in the ongoing exercise and to present the mechanism as if it is tendentious.
She spoke about artificial borders as if countries in the West African sub-region and even the African continent allow non-citizens to partake in their respective electoral process.
“Together, we can strategize to solve long-standing problems of needless and unproductive discrimination, and thrive as valued citizens,” she fired, adding “I want you, all of us in whatever demographic category to know, that I will carry your voices forward…Together, we can make it happen.”
She presented a negative picture of the registration which, according to her, is fraught with “violence, brute force, blood-letting and sheer breakdown of law and order in an otherwise straightforward act of registering to vote,” asking, “How did we descend into this situation?” to which question she answered thus “when there appears to be selective justice; when some offenders are not even placed on the hook but are hailed and promoted for being nasty and violent, the logical outcome is what we see.”
She again fired that “this situation of people dying, being harassed, because they have decided to register to vote, is not a story we can tell any child in the future, especially when the curriculum is hinged on tolerance.”
She wished she could sit with her compatriots “in the market, your shop, on the farms and at the beaches, by the roadside, and in the institutions, and think and plan together, argue and laugh at each other but for Covid-19.”
The NDC running mate paid tribute to women of Ghana saying “women have always played pivotal roles in the advancement of our country. When duty called, our women too, responded. We all have in mind great heroines who, by their actions, shattered the concept that women alone must be restricted by ceilings and limitations.”
Her combativeness reared its head once when she took a swipe at what she said is the poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic when she said “the partisan nature of our politics today makes it difficult to even ask the most basic questions about the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic without triggering a political brawl. This is unhelpful.”
She then painted a gloomy picture “of a growing number of cases and deaths arising from the pandemic of COVID-19, with their attendant fears and uncertainties instructively leaving out the wonderful recovery rate vis-a-vis the active cases.
After the programme, Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, reacted cynically that suggested the NDC is wasting its time as far as the December general election is concerned.
He tweeted that “as for Prof Jane, I seriously don't understand why an academic like her would sink into the dirty politics of Mahama and his cronies. Ghanaians are not fools, no amount of lies or propaganda can make them change their minds just four years after voting Mahama out! (sic).”