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NDC’s Council of Elders endorse John Mahama – Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang 2024 ticket

Following the endorsement of the Council of Elders, Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang is expected to be outdoored as the NDC running mate soon

The Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has endorsed Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as running mate for John Dramani Mahama in the December 2024 general election, Asaase News sources close to the NDC have confirmed.

Following the individual lobbying and endorsement of the Council of Elders, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is expected to be outdoored as John Mahama’s running mate next week. The decision of the NDC elders, according to the source, will now be tabled before the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party for their consideration and approval.

General Secretary of the NDC in a press release dated Tuesday, 27 February 2024, noted that the NDC has received formal communication from its presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, regarding the nomination of his running mate per Article 45 of the NDC Constitution.

“In response to this communication, the party is pleased to announce that a meeting of the Council of Elders will convene at 11:00 hrs on Thursday, 7 March 2024, to deliberate on this significant matter. Subsequently, the National Executive Committee will gather at 14:00 hrs on the same day to further consider the nomination” the press release of the NDC general secretary read.

“The NDC is confident that the running mate will bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and dedication to our campaign. The selection will undoubtedly complement the vision of our esteemed leader, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, as we collectively strive to “Build the Ghana We Want together,” the further read.

Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, a one-time education minister in the John Mahama government who held sway from 7 January 2013 to 7 January 2017, was his running mate in his failed attempt to win the presidency in the 2020 general election.

The naming of Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate to Mahama will mean that the NDC has decided once again to stick to the Central Region to select its vice-presidential candidate, as has been the case since 2012.

Two turns

The reselection of Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as Mahama’s projected repeat choice of running mate will be the second such decision in the history of the NDC, a party that came into being with the start of the Fourth Republic in 1992.

The former president Jerry John Rawlings, in his two terms as president on the NDC ticket, contested each election with a different running mate. Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, who ran for the presidency in three successive elections (2000, 2004, and 2008), did so with three different running mates (Martin Amidu, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, and John Dramani Mahama).

Subsequently, Mahama, who has also stood in three elections (2012, 2016, and 2020), is set to stand in his fourth presidential election in Ghana. In 2012, John Mahama ran with Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and won. The same pair contested the 2016 election but lost. In 2020, following the death of Amissah-Arthur in June 2018, Mahama chose Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the first time but lost that election.

The party narrowed the source of a running mate for the NDC’s Election 2024 ticket to three regions in October 2023. The target regions were Ashanti, Central, and Eastern. The preferred candidate from the Central Region was Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.

Spent runners and riders

Julius Debrah, a former chief of staff in the erstwhile John Mahama government from January 2013 to January 2017, was a strong potential candidate of choice for the NDC ticket. He hails from the Eastern Region, and he was said to be top of the list.

Kwame Awuah-Darko is a politician, entrepreneur, and banker, the third son of the late Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem I, who reigned as Nkosuohene Asante Juaben Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region. He was the strongest potential vice-presidential candidate for the NDC from the Ashanti Region.

It is a widely held view among the rank and file of the NDC that the choice of Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as running mate to Mahama in 2020 failed to deliver victory for the NDC in the Central Region and the nation at large.

Many of the NDC faithful believe that repeating her as the party’s running mate will add little to the party’s ticket and may not yield any political benefit to the NDC or improve its fortunes in the December 2024 general election.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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