The Kind of Guts Both Mahama and Naana Opoku-Agyemang Woefully Lack

Feature Article The Kind of Guts Both Mahama and Naana Opoku-Agyemang Woefully Lack

Of the six or seven possible Running-Mates mentioned or listed for Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2024 Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), to choose from, the most obvious standout is definitely none other than Ghana’s present Education Minister, namely, Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum, who also doubles as the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency, in the Asante Region. The US-trained and award-winning educator and veteran academic administrator has an image and a reputation that far transcends political party membership affiliation, ethnicity and ideological persuasion.

Sadly, however, reading the punditry fare of party critics and commentators like Mr. Kojo Asenso Darko, one gets the very erroneous impression of the unarguably the best qualified Presidential Candidacy Material among the pack (See “Election 2024 - NPP running mate brouhaha - running running and gasping!!” 5/23/24), that is, one would not get the indispensable clue that even while Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh – aka Napo – a professionally trained medical doctor and surgeon, we learn, was the substantive Akufo-Addo-appointed Education Minister, it was actually the former California-resident Dr. Osei-Adutwum who was practically running the show, as it were, at the Education Ministry.

Which was precisely why Yours Truly actively lobbied on these very pages to have the most dynamic, visionary and progressive, as well as generously talented Ghanaian educator in at least the last 30 years, to be rightfully and promptly promoted to the portfolio of substantive Education Minister. And so far, our protagonist has proven himself to be absolutely without contest or any formidable rival in the field or discipline. Now, what the preceding means is that if the salient and the overriding criterion for selecting the 2024 Presidential Running-Mate for the widely presumed Next President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana were squarely predicated on “Cross-Regional” and “Cross-Ethnic” National Appeal, then, of course, it absolutely could not be gainsaid that Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwim is the man and the candidate to beat.

I bet my proverbial bottom-dollar that when it comes to human relations and psychological and emotional maturity as well as etiquette, the widely alleged youngest son of my favorite Ghanaian Monarch or Paramount King, namely, Otumfuo Osei-Agyemang Prempeh, II, is decidedly a wet-eared and a diaper-draped political toddler. Indeed, as many an astute political pundit would be quick to knowingly tell the Dear Reader, “Politics is first and foremost a game of numbers,” and blessed is the potential candidate who has proven beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt that s/he is capable of magnetically drawing in the maximum number of voters and supporters and sympathizers as Ghanaians head towards the polling booth in the homestretch runup to the December 7, 2024 General Election.

In particular, the December 7, 2024, Presidential Election is apt to be fiercely and closely contested and the most obviously fetching or politically appealing candidate is none other than the unimpeachably urbane and diplomatically flawless Education Minister. Truth be told and be told bluntly and promptly as well, before it becomes too late and strategically irreversible to do so. And that Naked Truth, to be certain, is that you simply do not want to select and field a Presidential Running-Mate with the blotchy image and reputation of an Energy Minister who routinely conducts himself scandalously and embarrassingly almost as if he were a clone or a Xerox copy of Yagbonwura Kwame Gonja. You know that extant Presidential Incumbent who, in the leadup to the December 2016 General Election, rudely and disparagingly told the very bona fide Ghanaian electorate who put the Bole-Bamboi native, from the Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region into Jubilee House, that he had absolutely no peers or classmates in the country besides our two deceased former Presidents, namely, Messrs. Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings and John Evans “The Mysteriously Vanished” Atta-Mills, and the sole surviving former President John “The Gentle Giant” Agyekum-Kufuor.

In the case of “Sir” Napo or Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, he was recently widely reported to have told aggrieved and genuinely concerned Ghanaian citizens eager to be served a “Dumsor” or “Sordum” timetable, so as to enable them to wisely and productively organize their work and domestic schedules, that he had absolutely no “Dumsor” or “Sordum” timetable to humor them or their curiosity, except that which they were willing to create for themselves for such purpose. Now, isn’t such rude and morally inexcusable retort strikingly akin to the Serial and the Dynastic Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress telling equally genuinely aggrieved Ghanaian citizens and entrepreneurs, during the four-and-half years of the most protracted electoral term or tenure that they could literally take a hike or, better yet, go burn the sea, if they weren’t smart enough to figure out how to plan their business and domestic schedules around the rhythmless vagaries of Dumsor.

You see, the Manhyia Palace-delivered Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh may be naturally and predictably popular within the Asante Region. But guess what, Dear Reader? The Asante Region is only one of the 16 regions or administrative provinces in the country! Even if Napo received 90-percent of the Asante vote, in the purely hypothetical event of him being selected as Vice-President Bawumia’s 2024 Presidential Election Running-Mate, that would at best be equal to somewhere in the vicinity of approximately 15-to-20-percent of the grand total number of votes cast nationwide. It may be able to take us to Okwawu-Praso, but definitely nowhere near the Okwawu-and-Akyem Township of Nkawkaw, much less the wrought-iron gates of Jubilee House.

The painful but, nevertheless, inescapable fact of the matter and a truth worth telling before, like a running sore on the pate of dog, it begins to irrecoverably fester and kill the steely determination of breaking the Jinxy-8, is that Younger Brother – actually, he is my son, via the Asante-Juaben branch of my family – Matthew “Napo” Opoku-Prempeh needs some serious “real growing up to do.” His morally sickening tell off of the good people of Keta, to the scandalous effect that money direly needed to build or complete the Keta Seawall or Levee, as a means of significantly reducing the annual flooding of their township and its environs, could be better used to desilt the rivers and the gutters of the Kumasi Metropolis, is not a voter-attracting electioneering campaign song or jingle. I mean, pundits like Kojo Asenso Darko need to get real and dead serious here.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
May 24, 2024
E-mail: [email protected]