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FeaturesIn search of NPP running mate, a case for Dr. Matthew Opoku...

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In search of NPP running mate, a case for Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

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It is true that concerning the search for a running mate to the NPP flag bearer, several names have popped up as possible leading contenders. But, it is also true that the name, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (alias Napo), has popped up as the number one leading contender for this job.

Political scientists and watchers have, rightly so, tipped the Energy Minister, as the most suitable candidate for the running mate job to help the NPP break the 8.

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In view of this, he [Napo] has become the primary target for all kinds of vicious propaganda and myths thrown at him by his critics both within and outside the party in a desperate attempt to water-down his chances.

For the NDC, their biggest fear is that the selection of Napo as running mate will spell doom for their political fortunes particularly in the Ashanti Region and among young people across the country. In this piece, the writer shall be responding to these vicious propaganda, clearing the myths and setting the records straight, thus, making a solid case on why it has to be Napo.

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First, they say, Napo is ARROGANT, and that appears to be their biggest trump card against him. However, I say without doubt that any such description of Napo is highly misconceived, baseless and not supported by reality. In relation to this, what can be said of Napo which is factual is that, he is DECISIVE, BOLD, OUTSPOKEN, FIRM and has HUGE PRESENCE in everything he does.

Unfortunately, in our part of the world, these attributes are easily misconstrued as signs of ARROGANCE, and the opposite of same often mistaken as signs of HUMILITY.

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In view of this, he [Napo] has become the primary target for all kinds of vicious propaganda and myths thrown at him by his critics both within and outside the party in a desperate attempt to water-down his chances. For the NDC, their biggest fear is that the selection of Napo as running mate will spell doom for their political fortunes particularly in the Ashanti Region and among young people across the country. In this piece, the writer shall be responding to these vicious propaganda, clearing the myths and setting the records straight, thus, making a solid case on why it has to be Napo.

First, they say, Napo is ARROGANT, and that appears to be their biggest trump card against him. However, I say without doubt that any such description of Napo is highly misconceived, baseless and not supported by reality. In relation to this, what can be said of Napo which is factual is that, he is DECISIVE, BOLD, OUTSPOKEN, FIRM and has HUGE PRESENCE in everything he does. Unfortunately, in our part of the world, these attributes are easily misconstrued as signs of ARROGANCE, and the opposite of same often mistaken as signs of HUMILITY.

Napo has only become a victim of the former. Even his sense of humour is sometimes deliberately and mischievously misinterpreted by his critics as sign of arrogance. Anybody that objectively analyses the personality of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and his records in public and private life would certainly never associate him with arrogance. It is just not plausible to do that. Instead, the objective mind would say, Dr. Prempeh is down to earth but at the same time firm and decisive.

It is this decisiveness and firmness of Napo that made him to successfully rollout the Free SHS policy (the BOLDEST social intervention in the nation’s education sector since Independence) within the first year of the Akufo-Addo government, at the time some senior members of the government were raising serious misgivings, claiming it was too early to do so. Again, it is Napo’s decisiveness and boldness that have ensured discipline in the nation’s petroleum industry and also guaranteed stable power supply in the country even during the period of unprecedented economic crisis.

It would also be recalled that not long ago, Napo, as Energy Minister, properly exercised his oversight responsibility over the governing Board of the GNPC, chaired by Hon. Freddie Blay, the immediate past National Chairman of the governing NPP, who was then accused of offering interest in Ghana’s oil fields to a South African oil company, PetroSA. Napo gallantry insisted that the deal was not in the best interest of Ghana, and therefore ordered the Chairman to immediately cancel the offer.

The Energy Minister’s position was later vindicated by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other think tanks in the petroleum sector. Certainly, only bold and decisive leaders can do that.
There is, indeed, no gainsaying that what is needed from a leader is results, nothing more, nothing less. We need leaders that solve problems, and not leaders that only speak big English and project themselves as the citadel of humility. In any case, the contest for the presidency of a country is certainly NOT a HUMILITY CONTEST, else, we should make the National Chief Imam or the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana the President of Ghana for life.

Perish the thought; even if we were to assume WITHOUT ADMITTING that Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh is who they claim he is, i.e. arrogant, what really does the serious business of governance got to do with such matters?… Issues of arrogance, humility or the lack of it. Governance is a serious business, one of bread and butter. It is the competence of the leader and his proven track record that should really matter. Leadership is simply about solving problems.

I will, on any day, vote for a so-called arrogant leader who can provide me free education, affordable healthcare, stable electricity, good roads, good food and water, better economy, and, indeed, solve my problems. I will NOT vote for a leader who only comes to give me humility whilst I’m dying of hunger and getting overwhelmed with challenges. Martin Luther King Jnr. was right when he asseverated that, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge”.

Another propaganda against Napo is the claim that he is desperate for the running mate job, and that, the overwhelming calls coming from the rank and file of the party for Napo to be made the running mate is self-induced. His critics also say, Napo has a Presidential ambition and so, he will undermine Bawumia’s presidency if he becomes the Vice President. How low can these people stoop in their inordinate quest to destroy a good man!

First, Napo is not and cannot be said to be desperate for this running mate job. His commitment to the forward march of the NPP and Ghana goes beyond any desires for the Presidency of the country. He has demonstrated clearly that even if he is not nominated as running mate, he will work hard for the NPP to break the 8. He is focused on his job as MP for Manhyia South.

In fact, he was the first person to file his nomination seeking reelection as MP. How can he be said to be desperate for running mate? It is however noteworthy that some of the things Napo has been doing all the time which often go unnoticed, if he does them now, people sometimes deliberately take pictures of him for mischief purposes. How unfortunate!

Well, let it be placed on record that Napo has not changed at all. He remains the Napo we know all the time. The groundswell of endorsements he is receiving from the party’s rank and file is NOT self-induced. It is purely ORGANIC love for a man with an incredible kind heart. Napo’s generosity is legendary. His generosity does not also know any regional, religious or political divide. As a matter of fact, there cannot be an overestimation of the number of individuals and families he has supported and continues to support.

How is it Napo’s fault when beneficiaries of his generous support come to share their stories in the media; stories of how Napo has transformed their lives and livelihoods.

How is that self-induced? Indeed, what can be more natural and organic than that? The youth of the NPP and beyond love Napo to the core because he has rightly earned their love. Party executives from polling station to the national level love Napo because he has rightly earned their love. The entire Asanteman love Napo because he has rightly earned their love. He cannot be blamed for this.

It is also not Napo’s fault that he is the MOST DECORATED MINISTER OF STATE, sweeping virtually every Award, local and international, for which he has been nominated. For the avoidance of doubt, Napo’s political and professional life is replete with meritorious Awards for EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP.

He didn’t start receiving these Awards today, and therefore, his continuous receipt of these Awards cannot in anyway be linked with the running mate job. Indeed, throughout the tenure of this government, Napo has, year after year, been adjudged the MOST HARDWORKING MINISTER. It didn’t start today and it wouldn’t end today. Celebrating the DESERVING is not only a step in the right direction but also a moral obligation.

On the claim that Napo has presidential ambition, hence should be disqualified, I say to the contrary, that, such ambition, if it really exists, is rather the very reason why Napo is the right man for this running mate job. A Vice President must always be someone who has ambition of succeeding his boss when his tenure ends.

This is because, that ambition will be an extra motivating factor for the Vice President to work even harder for the success of his boss, since he [the Vice President] will be assessed based on the record of his boss’ administration and how much he has contributed to that record. A typical example is what we are seeing today in respect of the current Vice President and his boss.

Having adequately responded to these baseless propaganda against Napo, I wish to seize the opportunity to reiterate my strong conviction that Napo is the most suitable candidate for the running mate job. Napo is deeply loved by young people in the party, and has the wherewithal to mobilize the support of the nation’s youth to help the NPP break the 8. It is noteworthy that Napo’s indomitable political influence goes beyond the Ashanti Region. He is a political colossus and a national asset for that matter.

It should also be noted that the biggest threat to the NPP’s electoral fortunes in 2024 is really not the NDC and its flag bearer, but APATHY within the NPP. It is for this reason that the NPP flag bearer must nominate a running mate who is loved by the party’s core support base. Without a shred of doubt, Napo is that person. Per our constitutional architecture, political parties exist only to win general elections and govern. Napo has demonstrated that he has what it takes to help the NPP win the next elections and to also govern the country effectively.

On account of the foregoing, it is evidently clear that the selection of Napo as our running mate will give the NPP the most POLITICAL CAPITAL in 2024. Our flag bearer should be encouraged to do the needful and NOT succumb to pressure from certain quarters that inexplicably think otherwise.

Napo has the unflinching support of young people in the party. It is not for nothing that all my colleagues, NPP Regional Youth Organizers support Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s bid. It is not for nothing that the National Youth Wing of the Party supports Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s bid. Dr. Prempeh also has the overwhelming support of party executives across all levels.

As party people, we are hungry to retain power in December 2024 for the prosperity of our party and nation. That is all that matters to us, and we cannot fail to deliver on this national duty. It doesn’t matter who helps us in this pursuit so long as it is not the devil. Further to the above cogent reasons in support of Napo, it is also worth making the point that our flag bearer is generally seen as calm and soft-spoken. He therefore needs an out-outspoken lieutenant to balance the ticket to be able to give the NDC a run for their money.

Our flag bearer is also seen as a technocrat. He therefore needs a ‘career politician’ as his lieutenant in order to keep faith with the NPP’s age-long tradition of always presenting a presidential ticket made up of a career politician and a technocrat. Yet again, Napo is the answer. Anyway and anyhow you nuance the analysis, you will only find the answers in Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (alias Napo). We just cannot afford to get it wrong for the sake of our party and country.
Long live the NPP and our dear Motherland, Ghana.

HAMIDU MOHAMMED SAANA
NPP REGIONAL YOUTH ORGANIZER UPPER WEST REGION
hamidsaana87@gmail.com

DISCLAIMER: TIGPost.co will not be liable for any inaccuracies contained in this article. The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author’s, and do not reflect those of The Independent Ghana.

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