The Ashanti Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Peter Boateng, has said that knowing the calibre of person that Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is, he doubts the running mate to the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will descend into the gutters of Ghanaian politics.
“I doubt Prof [Opoku-Agyemang], having known her for the period, will now decide to descend into the gutters”, Mr Boateng told Kwame Appiah Kubi on CTV’s morning show ‘Dwabre Mu’ on Wednesday, 8 July 2020.
According to him, “there is some degree of vulgarity in our political speech”, and wondered how the former Education Minister will deal with that now that she is in the limelight of the political sphere.
“For instance”, Mr Boateng pointed out, “if you listen critically and pay attention to the relationship between the current Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and former President John Mahama, flag bearer of the NDC, you’ll realise that there is that banter which involves choosing refined words to present an unpleasant case in a nice way”.
“I doubt if Prof Opoku-Agyemang will descend into that level”, he said.
After Mr Mahama announced her as his running mate on Monday, 6 July 2020, Prof Opoku-Agyemang, in a statement, said: “It is with deep honour and a high sense of gratitude that I convey my acceptance of the nomination by H.E. John Dramani Mahama, flag bearer and leader of the great National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be his running mate for the December 7, 2020 election”.
She said: “I am humbled by the overwhelming endorsement my nomination has received from the founder of the NDC, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings, the Council of Elders, the National Executive Committee and the rank and file of our party, as well as the general public”.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang noted: “This historic nomination is not a personal achievement but victory for inclusive and participatory democracy, which enhances the credentials of our country and recognises the towering role women have played over the ages to achieve the progress we have made”.
“I wish to salute all those who have come before me and pledge to draw deeply from their inspiration”, she added.
The former Education Minister said: “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”.
“I pledge to diligently apply myself and dedicate all the energy and intellect I can muster to ensure a resounding victory for the NDC and for our country, Ghana. So help me God”.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has described Professor Opoku-Agyemang, as a “God-fearing”, “distinguished scholar”, “a conscientious public servant” and “a role model.”
Mr Mahama said on Facebook that Professor Opoku-Agyemang, who happened to be his Minister of Education during his presidency, is “God-fearing”, “a distinguished scholar”, “a conscientious public servant” and “a role model.
She is the first woman chosen by the NDC as a running mate.
About Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Born on 22 November 1951 in Cape Coast, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang attended Anglican Girls’ Secondary School at Koforidua and Aburi Presby Girls’ School.
She then had her secondary education at the Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast from 1964 to 1971. She completed B.Ed. (Hons) in English and French at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in 1977 and obtained her Masters and Doctorate degrees from York University in Toronto, Canada in 1980 and 1986.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang taught and worked at UCC starting in 1986.
She has held various academic positions including Head of the Department of English, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Warden of Adehye Hall, Valco Trust Fund Post-Graduate Hostel, and Dean of School of Graduate Studies and Research.
From 1997, she held the position of Academic Director of the School for International Training in the History and Cultures of the African Diaspora. From 2008-2012 she was the University’s Vice-Chancellor.
In March 2007, she was one of five scholars selected to deliver presentations during the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
In October 2009, she was elected Ghana’s representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Ahead of the 2012 general elections, Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang moderated the debate with now information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Between February 2013 and January 2017, she served as the Education Minister of Ghana.
On 26 October 2018, she became the Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa located in Zimbabwe.
She has served on many local and international boards and committees such as the Centre for Democratic Governance, (CDD-Ghana), the Editorial Board of The Harriet Tubman Series on the African Diaspora (Africa World Press Inc. USA), the Africa Initiative in Canada, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons as Eminent Citizen.