The former President and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani, has decided to replace Professor Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as running mate.
This is according to a newspaper report by the Daily Guide dated July 28, 2023.
According to the report, the party is currently engaged in an extensive consultative process to determine the most suitable replacement.
The former Minister for Education partnered the John Mahama in the 2020 general elections.
The newspaper report stated that sources close to the former president revealed that a listening survey is being conducted among NDC delegates to gauge their preferences for Mahama’s new running mate.
The decision to drop Professor Opoku-Agyemang has sparked divisions within Mahama’s inner circles, as some still support her candidature due to her previous role as the former Education Minister in Mahama’s administration.
Critics who advocate for the removal of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang argue that she has contributed minimally to the NDC’s performance in the 2020 election, especially in her home region, Central.
Others are urging the party to consider candidates from regions other than Central to broaden their voter appeal.
During the recent wreath-laying ceremony for the late President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2023, at Asomdwe Park, Professor Opoku-Agyemang was notably absent as she was reportedly out of the country for a medical check-up.
However, she was seen at Mills’ memorial lecture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on July 27, 2023.
As the consultative is ongoing, prominent figures within the NDC have been mentioned as potential running mates for Mahama.
These include former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah; former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah; former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Joshua Alabi.
Some also mention the former BOST Managing Director, Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko; former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Alex Kofi Mould; and former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku, who has the support of Lordina Mahama.
The listening survey by the NDC aims to collect opinions and preferences from NDC delegates across the country to ensure a transparent and democratic selection process for the vice-presidential candidate.
While Mahama’s inner circles mostly supported Professor Opoku-Agyemang, it remains unclear if the former president fully endorses the survey.
Political analysts say that the decision to drop Prof. Opoku-Agyemang could indicate his willingness to explore alternative options for his running mate. The final selection will be crucial in shaping the NDC’s campaign strategy and appeal to voters as they gear up for the highly anticipated 2024 general elections.
Party officials assure the public that the listening survey will be conducted fairly and in line with the NDC’s democratic principles. The announcement of the vice-presidential candidate is expected in the coming weeks, after thorough consideration of the survey results.
With the absence of Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang from the running mate options, the NDC and its supporters eagerly await the outcome of the listening survey, which will shape the party’s leadership and electoral prospects for the 2024 general elections.