Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has described her nomination to partner Mr John Dramani Mahama as running mate in the December 7 presidential election as victory for inclusive and participatory democracy.
Moments after the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) endorsed her as the running mate, she issued a statement in which she described her nomination as an honour.
She said her nomination had enhanced Ghana’s credentials and recognised the towering role women had played over the ages.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming endorsement my nomination has received from the Founder of the NDC, H.
Jerry John Rawlings; the Council of Elders, the National Executive Committee and the rank and file of our party, as well as the public,” it said.
She pledged to draw from the inspiration of all those who had come before her.
“I have worked with HE John Dramani Mahama closely and I know he is a man of vision, a leader you can trust, a public servant of integrity and a courageous leader who makes the right decisions in the national interest at all times,” it said.
Opoku-Agyemang further pledged to diligently apply herself and dedicate “all the energy and intellect I can muster to ensure a resounding victory for the NDC and for our country, Ghana”.
Historic choice Before Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang issued her acceptance statement, Mr Mahama had come out with a statement that the time was ripe for the country to have its first female vice- president.
“I am of the firm conviction that the time for women to take their rightful place in shaping the destiny of our nation is now.
We must not hold them back any longer, neither must there be room for lip service and tokenism,” he said.
Mr Mahama lauded Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang for accepting to run with him for office, commending her for her “courage to step out and make history as the first female running mate of the two major political parties that have dominated this Fourth Republic”.
Touting the credentials of the politician and academic, Mr Mahama said of the woman who was the Minister of Education during his presidency: “I have always admired her love for country, integrity, intellect, humility, empathy, impressive work ethic and her pursuit of excellence.
“The Professor has distinguished herself in a long illustrious career which has brought her renown both home and abroad.
” Endorsement After months of waiting, the NEC of the NDC yesterday unanimously endorsed Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate for the party’s flag bearer.
The NEC, which is the second highest decision-making body in the NDC, approved Mr Mahama's choice of running mate at a meeting with the flag bearer at the party’s headquarters in Accra yesterday.
Yesterday's meeting was a requirement of the NDC constitution, which demands that the flag bearer presents his or her choice of a running mate for an election, in consultation with the Council of Elders of the party and the NEC.
Mood About 10 a.
yesterday, the sidewalks in front of the NDC at Adabraka were flooded with journalists ready to capture the events of the day.
Leading members of the party, including the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah; the National Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and a former Minister of Fisheries, Ms Hanny Sherry Ayitey, had all converged on the NDC headquarters.
Although the meeting was scheduled for 11 a.
, Mr Mahama arrived there about 2 p.
to resounding cheers from a crowd that had gathered in front of the premises.
Declaration About 3 p.
, the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, emerged from the meeting and told the media that the decision to affirm Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate had been endorsed by the NEC.
“The running mate of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for the 2020 general election is Prof.
Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.
That choice has been approved unanimously by the council," he said.
The Communications Director of the NDC, Mr Kakra Essamuah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview after the meeting that there would be an official announcement to outdoor Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang on a later date.
Opoku-Agyemang's association with the NDC began in 1996 when, as the hostess of a Radio Gold programme, 'Platform', she interviewed then President Jerry John Rawlings in the build-up to that year’s presidential election.
Profile Born in Cape Coast, Prof.
Opoku-Agyemang, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast attended the Anglican Girls' School in Koforidua and the Aburi Presby Girls' School.
She proceeded to the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast from 1964 to 1971.
She completed a B.
(Hons) degree in English and French at the University of Cape Coast in 1977 and obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees from the York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1980 and 1986, respectively.
She has chaired more than 20 boards and committees, among them the those of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, the Council of the University College of Education, Winneba, and the Academic Committee of the Ghana Council for Tertiary Education.
She is a recipient of the Ghana Women of Excellence Award.
She is a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the University Teachers Association of Ghana, the English Studies Association, the African Studies Association, USA, the African Literature Association, USA, and the International Fulbright Scholars Association.
Opoku-Agyemang is the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, the Global Leadership Award and many national and international awards.
She has published many books and articles.
She is also a two-time Fulbright scholar and is currently a Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).