Fri, 07 Jun 2024 Feature Article

A Frema Opare Vice-Presidency Is a Losing Proposition on Arrival

Frema Opare, Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum and Naana Jane Opoku-AgyemangFrema Opare, Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum and Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

First of all, we need to stress the fact that both the election and the selection of the Presidential Candidate and the latter’s Running-Mate, respectively, have since the inception of the presently ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), been squarely based on “Electability” and demonstrated administrative competence and something called “Regional Balance,” which simply means the savvy and winsome strategy of not having both the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party and his Running-Mate, exclusively male so far but this is very likely to change in the very near future, hail from the same cardinal geographical region or location of the country, unlike the National Democratic Congress (NDC), where such perfectly fair and democratic arrangement had never existed until the accession of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills to the topmost ticket of the latter institutional establishment.

Previously, the selection of the NDC’s Running-Mate had been a purely “Fante Affair” that was preemptively and dynastically determined by the Anlo-Ewe Mafia, also known as the Sogakope Mafia, for quite a considerable while chaperoned by the late former President Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings. Thus, under the two-term tenure of the latter universally acclaimed Founding-Father of the National Democratic Congress, we had Messrs. Ekow Nkensen Arkaah, late, and John Evans Atta-Mills, respectively, selected by the Anlo-Ewe and the Sogakope Mafia Generalissimo to junior or co-partner the Togbui Avaklasu Rawlings Presidency. It would not be until 8 solid years or two terms into Ghana’s Fourth-Republican Dispensation that the movers-and-the-shakers of the junta-hatched institutional establishment of the National Democratic Congress would, in characteristically copycat fashion, begin borrowing the strategically fetching playbook page of “Regional Balance” from their more politically inclusive and visionary opponents of the New Patriotic Party.

Consequently, we would begin to witness the herd-like Serial Vice-Presidential Candidacies of Messrs. Martin ABK Amidu, Muhammad Mumuni (Alhaji) and John Dramani Mahama. In short, the Neoliberal, Progressive and Social-Intervention Oriented Kingmakers and Queenmakers of the New Patriotic Party are traditionally not known to be in the habit of taking after or blindly following in the strategically gauche, cheap, tawdry and populist footsteps of their downright autocratic and feudal counterparts of the National Democratic Congress, who artlessly and myopically and invariably tend to hew towards the Dynastic Selection of both their Presidential Candidates and the Running-Mates of the latter.

Within the present context, however, what we want to highlight, emphatically so, here is that the decision by the Mahama and the Johnson “The Mosquito” Asiedu-Nketia Posse to settle on Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang to, once again, lamely partner the Serial and the Dynastic Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress into the 2024 Presidential Election, both of these candidates having been mercilessly trounced by the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the now-Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia in the 2020 Presidential Election, is purely a desperate washout act of “Gender Cosmetology,” one that is squarely and purely based on a facile presumption and an attempt to play on the baser instincts of the Ghanaian electorate, especially Ghanaian women voters, rather than its being one that is progressively or constructively based on any worthwhile or morally and strategically significant contributions that Candidate Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has made towards the material development of our beloved Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana.

Under the leadership of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as the Mahama-appointed Minister of Education, for example, Ghana experienced the worst period of its public education system, with the globally renowned and prestigious United Nations-sponsored and Paris-, France, based think-tank called the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranking Ghana’s public education or school system as the very worst of its kind among the public education systems of some 145 countries around the globe out of which Ghana was ranked 145 out of all the 145 countries surveyed! Today, the quality of Ghana’s public education system has significantly improved and is ranked much better under the ministerial leadership of Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum, an internationally respected and frequently consulted Curricula Designer, an award-winning American Charter Schools System Administrator in the State of California, and the master-brain behind the resonant success of the historically unprecedented Akufo-Addo-implemented Fee-Free Senior High School, Vocational, Technical and the STEM Education System.

Yes, Ghana’s present public school system has significantly improved during the course of the last 7 years, or so, not because Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum is a man who belongs to the gender category of males, but primarily because all relatively petty personal achievements aside, the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency, in the Asante Region, obviously has the deft combination of talents and skills set that it takes to massively and seismically move the intellectual and the talent capital of Ghanaian youths higher up the global level and on parity with the public education systems of the most industrially and technologically advanced nations in the world!

In other words, while, indeed, “Gender Inclusivity” is without question indispensable in the choice of leadership in a Democratic Ghana, nevertheless, the incontrovertible fact also still remains that mere Gender Attributes, male or female, in of themselves are not a very “essential” determinant of who better or best qualifies for any given position of public trust or leadership responsibility.

At any rate, in the case of the possibility of the selection of Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the lame-duck President Akufo-Addo’s Chief-of-Staff, at 77 years old, such proposition scandalously overlooks such critical factors as the “politically progressive role” of a viable Vice-Presidential Candidate. In other words, traditionally, the role of a Vice-President is one of “leadership understudy,” which fundamentally means that anybody selected by the Presumptive Next President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, to wit, Vice-President – no pun intended here, by the way – Mahamudu Bawumia is one who must be able to withstand and/or weather the buffeting and the vortical storms of Fourth Republican Ghanaian Political Culture for at least the next 8 to 16 years, hypothetically assuming that every Running-Mate or Vice-Presidential Candidate is also a potential Presidential Candidate and/or President-in-Waiting.

I absolutely don’t see any of these qualities on the curriculum vitae of an end-of-career Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, unless Candidate Bawumia has also publicly and/or officially announced to the party and the country that he is, somehow, looking a “Maternal Vice-President” of some sort, in which case Yours Truly would be very first to order the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana to go back to Walewale and look for one of his late mother’s sisters or female relatives as his Running-Mate, contrary to what Mr. Kwabena Owusu-Sekyere, described by the media as the Ahafo Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party, would have the rest of us believe (See “Frema Opare Is Politically Mature, Bawumia Must Settle on Her as Running-Mate – Owusu-Sekyere” 6/2/24).

And by the way, Mr. Owusu-Sekyere, I have on authority that the Chief and the people of Asante-Wiamoase are originally Akyemkwaas from Akyem-Asuom who migrated to their present location sometime during one of the Asante and Akyem wars. In short, there is absolutely nothing genetic or “essentialistically” biological about ethnicity or subethnicity, as the Ahafo Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party would have the rest of us believe. We are all one and the same, ultimately.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024