Jane Naana is Mahama’s choice for a running mate

Estimated read time 3 min read

According to media reports, former President John Mahama will retain his 2020 running mate Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the upcoming election. The leader of the NDC submitted the name of his running mate to the National Executive Committee of the party for consideration.

Acknowledging the submission, the General Secretary of the party, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey said the party leadership will meet on the matter on March 7. A decision will be made after deliberations by the Council of Elders and National Executive Committee.

While Ghanaians await the decision, many names have been suggested. Dr Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, the MP for Korle Klottey and daughter of the founder of the party has been mentioned. Former Mayor of Kumasi and an opposition to Mahama in the NDC’s Presidential primaries Kojo Bonsu has also been tipped. Also included in the list of popular names is former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah.

However, one name that has remained constant is Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the 2020 running mate of Mahama. While Prof Jane Naana may not be a popular politician like the above names, her success in the education field has often made her a choice for the NDC. Her presence in the last election also now weighs heavily in her favour as she is already more market-ready than the other names.

Jane Naana also has the backing of some of NDC’s top lawmakers. According to a JoyNews report, some lawmakers expressed confidence in the choice and would prefer the party retains the same ticket as the 2020 election.

“I think all the names you have mentioned are capable than Dr Bawumia but I really don’t think it will make any sense changing the running mate we used in the 2020 elections,“ Tamale Central MP, Murtala Mohammed said as reported by Joy News.

According to Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, there should be no changes to the running mate position. He said any such change would be a shock and should only happen if Prof Opoku-Agyemang says she is unavailable.

“I really don’t think there will be any changes. I will be shocked if there are any changes and the only way there could be a change is if Prof Naana says she is no longer willing to contest,” he noted.

Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang with John Mahama
Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang was the running mate for John Mahama in the 2020 elections. She is predicted to be Mahama’s preference for the 2024 election.

Though some critics blamed the decision to pick Jane Naana as running mate for the NDC’s defeat in 2020, not everyone thinks the same. For instance, Deputy Minority Whip, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah believes picking Jane Naana is a natural choice and Mahama would stick to it as she was not the reason for the defeat in 2020.

“I believe the choice of a female running mate shows a commitment to gender equality and participation in leadership. John Mahama has made it and he’s going to do it again. We couldn’t get the general elections because of one or two reasons and this time, he’s going to name her again and have the first female vice president for Ghana,” Mrs Cudjoe-Ghanasah stated.

Kintampo North MP, Joseph Kwame Kumah said apart from gender reasons which he supports, Prof Opoku-Agyemang did well to deserve another shot.

“I’m a gender activist, and I’m very sensitive when it comes to gender. For me, our mother Naana Jane did marvellously well,” he said via Joy News.

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