‘Naana Opoku-Agyemang is over 70’ – Afenyo-Markin comments draws Minority backlash

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Near chaos erupted in Parliament when Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin attacked the personality of John Mahama’s running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.

According to the legislator, she failed to deliver on her mandate despite occupying key positions in the past government.

He asserts that the NDC flagbearer made a wrong choice for running mate, as they represent the “same old NDC.”

The Majority Leader was contributing to the concluding debate on the State of the Nation Address on March 11.

“It is the same old NDC. It is the same old John Mahama. Mr. Speaker, perish the thought, should he even get the opportunity he has only four years constitutionally. There would be no sense of urgency in him because he has nothing to lose. Even if you look at his choice of running mate, he could not get somebody that one could say that they are planning for the future.

“The person is over 70 years old, we have no succession plan. From day one, their government will be in crisis. They went to pick the very old person who could not perform at the Education Ministry.

“As I submitted earlier, if you even look at how they paraded their leadership, clearly they have not put in place a visionary leadership for the country’s long-term future.

“The flagbearer, constitutionally has just one term. Should that happen, the flagbearer has chosen a running mate, Mr. Speaker. Under normal circumstances, they should have given us a running mate who can offer a future to Ghana.

“Like we have given a flagbearer who represents the future of Ghana. You have brought a running mate who retired from UCC as VC and came to the Ministry of Education to perform abysmally. The E-blocks she could not complete them. She did only 29. Today, you say the running mate should be the future of this country,” he said.

These comments angered the NDC, prompting them to demand that Mr Afenyo-Markin withdraw his statement.

The Minority caucus signaled their displeasure by banging the tables on the floor of the House.

Banda MP, Ibrahim Ahmed, demanded that the Majority leader withdraw his statement and apologise for attacking the personality of Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.

He argued that President Akufo-Addo was over 70 years old, yet the NPP pushed him to run for the presidency. Therefore, until an apology is issued, the NDC side of the House would not relent.

The rising tensions forced the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, to suspend the house for an hour.

Speaking to JoyNews’ Parliamentary correspondent, Kwame Asante on the sidelines, Ketu South MP Dzifa Gomashie described the comments by the Majority Leader as despicable.

She said the NDC’s running mate was a well-accomplished woman who had risen through the ranks. Therefore, for him to describe her as “aged” and in low repute, he must apologize.

“We ask that the leadership of the NPP, together with him apologize to us as members of the NDC and also to Naana Jane officially. Because this was superintended over by the second deputy speaker. Some as rose, we were on our feet protesting that he should stop him from going ahead. We are not happy. All the ladies here, please let’s stand against this type of statement. If a man at 70 plus could be a President, a woman at 70 plus could still be a vice or a running mate,” she argued.

As sitting resumed, the Majority Leader withdrew the comments after which the the proceedings regarding the SONA debate continued.

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