The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has become the second political party to go into the 2020 presidential election with a female candidate, after acclaiming an entrepreneur, Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku, as its flagbearer.
Ms Dzogbenuku, who was the running mate of the PPP’s presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, was acclaimed and endorsed by the party at a ceremony in Accra last Saturday.
The party is expected to announce Ms Dzogbenuku’s running mate this week.
The other political party to have so far settled on a female presidential candidate is the National Democratic Party (NDP), which acclaimed a former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, as its flag bearer two weeks ago.
The founder of the PPP, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, who had previously led the party to the 2012 and the 2016 presidential elections, decided not to contest the flag bearer position again due to ill health.
That paved the way for two stalwarts of the party — Ms Dzogbenuku and Mr William Dowokpor, the 2016 parliamentary candidate of the party in Ayawaso West Wuogon — to vie and lead the party.
Mr Dowokpor, however, decided to withdraw his candidature, citing limited time for the party as his reason, leaving Ms Dzogbenuku as the sole candidate.
An entrepreneur, empowerment coach, politician, former business executive and beauty queen, Ms Dzogbenuku joins six other persons who have so far been elected by their respective political parties to seek the mandate of Ghanaians in Election 2020 to steer the affairs of the country.
Clad in a colourful Kente outfit, Ms Dzogbenuku walked majestically to the podium to accept the PPP’s decision to acclaim her as its flag bearer, amid shouts of ‘Bridge it! Bridge it!’ from the party members.
She later explained ‘Bridge it’, a coined form of her first name, to mean that she was the bridge between the youth and the older generation, for which reason she was strategically positioned to resolve the challenges confronting the country.
The PPP flag-bearer thanked the party for having faith in her and elevating her to lead the third biggest political party, in terms of the 2012 and the 2016 electoral performance, into the December polls.
“I don’t take it for granted; I recognise the enormity of the task ahead of us, and with God’s help, I am ready to take the bull by the horns and forge boldly ahead,” Ms Dzogbenuku said.
She said her vision was to build an inclusive government that would tap into the expertise of everyone, “regardless of political party, ethnicity, creed or gender, all working together for the love of the nation”.
“We understand that you wish for a new kind of leadership that answers your questions and addresses your needs; a leadership that helps you attain your vision. The PPP will give you that kind of leadership,” she added
The PPP flag-bearer criticised the two main political parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) — of failing to bring real change to the country.
She said the rivalry between the two dominant parties had divided the country and also widened the inequality gap between the rich and the poor.
“We have been promised ‘a better Ghana’ and ‘real change’ over the years, but all we have seen are two sides of the same coin and a continuous widening gap between the rich and poor.
“We have governed in an ‘us-against-them’ manner, a competition in mediocrity rather than in excellence that has deeply divided the country and led to an inequality that characterises almost every sector — jobs, education, health and the economy. This has resulted in many Ghanaian businesses’ inability to excel and a youth without hope,” Ms Dzogbenuku said.
Try the PPP
The PPP flag-bearer stressed that it was time for Ghanaians to try the PPP because the two major parties had failed to live up to the trust and confidence of Ghanaians.
The PPP, she said, was the third force that was ready, capable and poised to bring real change to Ghana.
“We in the PPP say that after 28 years of doing the same thing, voting for the NDC or the NPP, and seeing slow progress, sometimes retrogression and near-stagnation, in our development, a bit like the Israelites in the wilderness going around in circles, we need a new kind of leadership — a leadership with values as its core — that will lead us to the Promised Land,” she added.