Yesterday, the Electoral Commission of Ghana through her chairperson cleared 12 presidential candidates to contest for the 2020 elections. 5 of the hopefuls were disqualified on the grounds of forgery and other matters that bother on criminalities and technicalities.
Checking Twitter and Facebook reactions and trends, many have expressed shock as to why Madam Akua Donkor, an illiterate, passed through the barrier of scrutiny by the Electoral Commission. As a student of political history, I decided to do some reading. In 2016, the founder and leader of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, chose a 32-year-old farmer, Mrs. Patricia Asante as her running mate for the 2016 general elections. Her ticket was disqualified by the Electoral Commission because her running mate had not attained age 40 as the Constitution demands.
Article 60 (3) of the 1992 constitution states, "The provisions of article 62 of this Constitution apply to a candidate for election as Vice-President." Article 62 then adds, "A person shall not be qualified for election as the President of Ghana unless... (b) He/She has attained the age of forty years."
Fast forward to 2020, Madam Akua Donkor and her ‘3ny33 no no’ party supporters settled on an experienced media practitioner and lawyer, Ernest Frimpong Manso (Adakabre). Mr. Frimpong Manso has been in the media circles for close to two decades. According to a modern Ghana publication on April 2, 2018, the ace radio broadcaster, Ernest Frimpong Manso, popularly known as Adakabre, was appointed as General Manager of transport giant, VIP Jeoun Transport Company Limited.
The privately-owned transport company currently has over 600 buses serving several routes within Ghana and other destinations across West Africa. She balanced her ticket with management experience, education, and media buzz.
Madam Akua Donkor learnt from her 2016 disqualification and exercised a political masterstroke in 2020. She must be commended for this decision, and not ridiculed. She may not have the advantage of formal education but she is certainly a fortress of home sense.
She may not make any meaningful impact in the 2020 general elections but, she has showed perseverance, wisdom and tenacity, attributes worthy of praise and emulation.