Market women and some women groups at Walewale in the North East region have welcomed the decision and praised former President John Mahama for the choice of Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the December 7 elections.
The North East Regional Women’s Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sumaya Ligbi, who led the groups at Walewale, poured out support for Prof. Opoku-Agyemang and also showed appreciation to the former president for giving women the opportunity to serve in such a prestigious position in the NDC for the first time.
“I am very proud of my country Ghana,” she said.
“This is long overdue and I believe this is a historic moment and I am very excited about the announcement. If the NDC emerges victorious in the December polls, which it will by the grace of Allah, she will be the first female Vice President of Ghana. We thank the flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, the Council of Elders, FEC and NEC for making this all-important and decisive choice,” she stated.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast was unanimously endorsed by the National Executive Committee of the party on Monday after her name was presented by the flagbearer, Mr Mahama.
After she was officially announced as the running mate, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) held a press conference claiming that she was a “bad choice” for the NDC because of the “bad decisions” she made during her time as Minister for Education.
They cited, among other things, the cancellation of the teacher trainee allowances, freeze on education sector employment as some of the decisions that ultimately make her unfit for the new role.
However, Ghanaians who are happy about the selection of Prof Opoku-Agyemang, are using the hashtag #ImWithHer to amplify her achievements which they claim outweigh what the NPP is propagating.
Gender advocates are also excited about Prof Opoku-Agyeman’s selection as they believe it will go a long way to empower more women in the country.
She described the nomination as a sign of the party’s commitment to feminine participation in politics.
In her view, Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s nomination is not only achievement to her personally but also an achievement to all women in the world.
This, she said, proves that women are “making great strides” in their locus.
According to her, the flagbearer of the NDC has made an enviable choice, particularly, when the entire world is rallying for gender equality and/or balance.
“Over the years, all political parties in the country have lamented the low interest of female participation in politics. Albeit this gap has well been noticed, little is done by these political leaders (predominantly men) to find a solution to this bottleneck. It is quite encouraging that the NDC has gone beyond the odd to nominate and confirm a woman to partner its presidential candidate,” she added.
The North East Regional Women’s Organiser believes that women must be recognised as partners in development, giving cognizance of the roles they play and not only suitable for the kitchen or bedroom.
She added that more women should be given such challenging opportunities to see and measure how far “we can travel as a country, after 63 years of independence.”
She called on all women to “rally behind Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and be part of this indelible history”, adding: “First female Vice President is our objective, eye on the goal.”