BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING?
The nominated running mate for the NDC’s flag-bearer John D. Mahama, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang gave an impassioned speech during her out-dooring ceremony. The former Minister of Education’s speech was devoid of derogatory language, insults, personal attacks, and denigration which has become the norm in Ghanaian politics. I was suitably impressed by her calm demeanor, candor, grace, and dignity. Ms. Opoku-Agyemang’s opening speech caught my attention when she indicated that she was the first female to be nominated as a running mate for a major political party in Ghana. I just simply love the good professor’s cleverly crafted choice of words, “first female to be nominated as a running mate for a MAJOR political party”, emphasis on MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY! In one swoop, the professor quelled all the comments and remarks comparing her nomination to previous nominations of other females for the same position: after all, these nominations albeit commendable were not for major political parties, right? BRAVA!!! For a second, it sounded like women in Ghana are beginning to break the glass ceiling in the political world under the NDC, right? BUT hold on! The last time I checked, ex-President Kufuor played a vital role in the professor becoming the FIRST FEMALE Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, or? I will call that a BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING moment!
After basking in the warmth of the professor’s introductory words, I was doused with a bucket of ice-cold water when her inexperience for the role she had been given became apparent during her rather disappointing political rhetoric. The professor began by harping on about EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION! I suppose with her background in education and being the former Minister for Education, it should not come as a surprise that a large part of her speech was focused on education. Do not get me wrong, education is particularly important, and policies to reshape or enable the education system and process must be addressed. HOWEVER, a Vice President’s role is not centered only on one Ministry or governmental department, which in her case, is education. A Vice President should come with the experience to govern an entire nation, and not just one ministry. A Vice President must be prepared to step into the shoes of the President in his or her absence and that is not what I heard from the good professor’s speech! EXPERIENCE! EXPERIENCE! EXPERIENCE is key to the governance of an entire nation!
I grew increasingly concerned when she dove into insinuations and innuendos about corruption, lack of diversity, and tribalism under the current government. The icing on the cake was when she inadvertently accused the current government of negligent hiring practices, alluding that inexperienced individuals had been given positions without merit! Hang on a minute! An academic of her caliber should know better than to throw unsubstantiated inflammatory information out into the atmosphere! The professor should have backed up her allusions with unassailable, incontrovertible, and impregnable facts! For the life of me, as a Litigator, I cannot imagine walking into a trial without arming myself with excellent cases and statutes obtained from well-conducted extensive research of the relevant law and statutes to back up my facts! The professor’s unpreparedness and inexperience are troubling because it is akin to a novice litigator standing in a courtroom singing out facts without citing any legal authority! Seriously, I do respect and admire this uber-intelligent alumnus of the Wesley Girls High School persuasion, however, I just pray she does not end up destroying her well-earned integrity, credibility, and status… thirsty for more? Patience my friends, patience!
To be continued…