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NewsVideo: Minority MPs go wild on Afenyo-Markin for mocking Prof Opoku-Agyemang's age

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Video: Minority MPs go wild on Afenyo-Markin for mocking Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s age

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Parliament witnessed heightened tensions as Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin launched a scathing attack on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, sparking fury from the Minority bench.

During the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate on March 11, Afenyo-Markin criticized Opoku-Agyemang’s tenure as education minister and raised concerns about her age, pointing out that, at 70 years old, her selection lacked foresight and could potentially lead to a leadership crisis in the absence of a succession plan if the NDC were to win the 2024 elections.

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He expressed skepticism about the NDC’s planning for the future, emphasizing that their choice of a running mate over 70 years old lacked strategic foresight and could result in a government crisis. The remarks triggered initial protests from the Deputy Minority Chief Whip.

Afenyo-Markin continued his criticism during a second opportunity to speak, questioning the NDC’s lack of visionary leadership and the selection of Opoku-Agyemang as a running mate, highlighting her retirement from UCC as VC and alleged poor performance at the Ministry of Education.

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“It is the same old NDC. It is the same old John Mahama. Mr Speaker, perish the thought, should he even get the opportunity he has only four years constitutionally.

“There would be no sense of urgency in him because he has nothing to lose. Even if you look at his choice of running mate, he could not get somebody that one could say that they are planning for the future.

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“The person is over 70 years old, they have no succession plan. From day one, their government will be in crisis. They went to pick the very old person who could not perform at the Education Ministry,” he submitted triggering initial protest from the Deputy Minority Chief Whip.

“The flagbearer, constitutionally has just one term. Should that happen, the flagbearer has chosen a running mate, Mr. Speaker. Under normal circumstances, they should have given us a running mate who can offer a future to Ghana.

“Like we have given a flagbearer who represents the future of Ghana. You have brought a running mate who retired from UCC as VC and came to the Ministry of Education to perform abysmally. The E-blocks she could not complete them. She did only 29. Today, you say the running mate should be the future of this country,” he said.

The comments incited outrage among NDC members, prompting demands for an immediate retraction and apology from Afenyo-Markin. The Minority caucus banged tables in protest, arguing that attacking Opoku-Agyemang’s age was unjustifiable, particularly in light of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s age.

The escalating tension led to the suspension of proceedings for an hour by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako. Outside the chamber, Ketu South MP Dzifa Gomashie condemned Afenyo-Markin’s comments as “despicable,” highlighting Opoku-Agyemang’s achievements and urging an apology from the NPP leadership.

Upon resumption, Afenyo-Markin withdrew his remarks, allowing the debate on the State of the Nation Address to proceed.

Watch video below:

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