The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said that although the selection of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate of the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC is good because she is a woman, she does not have any track record of fighting for women.
“In an ideal world, one of the strongest things going for the selection of the good Professor would be that she is a woman, and this will be met with a lot of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang hardly meets the expectations of someone who has the track record of fighting for women and their welfare,” the Communications Director of the NPP, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, said.
Addressing the press hours after the NDC had named Prof. Opoku-Agyemang as its running mate in the presidential election on December 7, Mr Buabeng Asamoah said the Professor was not new to Ghana politics, and that it was her performance during her period as a political appointee that would be considered.
He said it was during her tenure as Education Minister that trainee teachers’ allowances were scrapped, even against appeals to reconsider the decision, adding: “Indeed, it was one of the things she was proud to have done.”
He said apart from the fact that transportation allowances for teachers were not being paid, the NDC running mate also introduced the practice of teachers working for two years without being paid and being restricted to being paid only three months’ back pay, no matter how long they had worked.
Mr Buabeng Asamoah said although Prof. Opoku-Agyemang had been a teacher before, yet it was during her period that classroom teachers were denied common chalk to be able to write on blackboards.
“We remember the infamous ‘We won’t give you chalk today or tomorrow’ comment by Matilda Amissah-Arthur, and this was under the supervision of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang,” he said.
The NPP Communications Director also mentioned the ‘Montie 3 case’ as another blot on the image of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang.
“It would be unconscionable on our part not to remind ourselves of the key role played by Prof. Opoku-Agyemang in the ‘Montie Trio’ saga,” he said, explaining that when the ‘Montie Trio’ threatened death on some Supreme Court justices, including the then Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Theodora Georgina Wood, the NDC running mate joined the campaign for their release.
Mr Buabeng Asamoah alleged that Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s ardent anti-feminist posturing was too obvious to ignore when she appended her signature to the petition to have the trio, who had then been incarcerated at the Nsawam Prison, to be freed, against sound advice from well-meaning Ghanaians.
He said during her tenure as Minister of Education, teachers were paid three months’ arrears for two years of work, sometimes more than that and sometimes less than that, while yearly incremental jump in the salary scale of teachers was cancelled.
He further alleged that Prof. Opoku-Agyemang presided over the freezing of employment in the educational sector, adding: “She presided over the heightened corrupt practices at the NSS Secretariat. Remember, the secretariat is under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education.”
According to him, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang recently advised former President Mahama to disclose that he would cancel the Licensure Examination for teachers if the NDC won the December 7 elections.
“Any rational person wouldn’t do that because professionalism is anchored on licensing,” he said.