‘Napo is the chosen one’ – Bawumia tells Akufo-Addo

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Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has informed President Akufo-Addo that Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh is his choice as running mate for the December 2024 elections.

This was during a meeting Dr Bawumia had with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Tuesday night [June 25, 2024].

The President in that meeting offered advice and shared his thoughts.

The next move is for the flag bearer to go ahead and present Dr Opoku Prempeh’s name to the National Council of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in line with the constitution of the party and if it is accepted, the party will go ahead and outdoor Dr Prempeh as the running mate.

Article 12 (b) of the NPP constitution states that the Party’s Presidential Candidate shall, in consultation with the National Council, nominate the Vice Presidential Candidate, who shall be a known and active Member of at least five (5) years.

Before this latest development, several names had been tipped as potential running mates for Dr Bawumia’s bid, but that of Dr Opoku Prempeh, aka ‘Napo’”[Nana Poku], was flying higher.

Other names were Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, and Ursula Owusu Ekuful, among others.

A nephew of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Manhyia South Member of Parliament (MP) has a royal lineage at the Apagyafie of the Manhyia Palace.

His constituency is not merely a stronghold of the party, but actually delivered 83 per cent of the presidential votes to the NPP in the 2020 election.

In the contest to elect the flag bearer for the party in November last year, Manhyia South Constituency delivered 478 votes out of the 559 total valid votes casted, representing 85.5 per cent, for Dr Bawumia.

The contest for the presidency in December is mainly between Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia of the NPP and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

High stakes

The stakes for both are high as the NPP seeks to win a third term, while Mr Mahama and the NDC want to avoid a third consecutive defeat. On  December 7, Ghanaians will vote for a new president and 275 MPs. This will be the country’s ninth consecutive election since returning to constitutional rule in 1992.

When unveiled, Dr Opoku Prempeh will face off with Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the running mate of the opposition flag bearer, John Mahama, who is seeking a comeback after losing the 2016 elections to President Akufo-Addo.

Interestingly, both running mates once served as Education Ministers and will be seeking to compare their records at the ministry. The latest selection comes after a survey by the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) indicated last week that Dr Opoku Prempeh was widely preferred among party members to partner the NPP flag bearer for the December polls.

He was first elected to Parliament on June 1, 2008, before being re-elected in 2012, 2016, and 2020. He has served on the Health, Appointments, and Defence and Interior Committees of Parliament so far.

Education sector record

He emerged the best performing minister in the Akufo-Addo-led administration for 2019, according to a survey by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana.

According to the findings of the study, Dr Prempeh topped the list of best performing ministers on the basis of policy and delivery, competency and hard work.

The opinion poll dubbed “Assessment of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) – Perspective from the Constituents”; was carried out from March to June 2019, with funding from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

He is also credited for leading various policy reforms that have had a far-reaching impact on Ghana’s educational landscape.

Dr Opoku Prempeh led a team to also deliver on curriculum reforms, teacher reforms and several initiatives to promote and mainstream Technical and Vocational  Education and Training (TVET).

He also secured approval for the successful recruitment of over 93,725 teaching and non-teaching staff to drastically improve on the pupil-teacher ratio at the pre-tertiary level.

Energy sector challenges

While many have praised his delivery in the education sector, his tenure at the Energy Ministry has, however, not been well trumpted. The power sector under his watch has been plagued by persistent challenges, including electricity crisis, that have had a significant impact on the economy and livelihoods.

Other challenges bedevilling the sector include high levels of distribution losses, lack of revenue due to the non-payment of bills, and a poor tariff structure, which make it difficult for the utility companies to make significant investments to improve the sector due to financial constraints.

Manhyia connection

Dr Opoku Prempeh was born to Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie, who was Asantehene’s Apagyahene, and Elizabeth Akosua Nyarko in Kumasi.

He started his primary education at KNUST Primary School and proceeded to the prestigious Prempeh College in 1980. From there, he entered the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to read medicine.

It was at KNUST that he made his debut as a leader after he was elected as the local National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) President, a position he held from 1991 to 1992.
In 1995, Dr Opoku Prempeh left Ghana to pursue further education and worked as a surgeon in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


Dr Opoku Prempeh was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Harvard Ministerial Medal of Achievement in recognition of his work towards strengthening public education in Ghana.
He was adjudged the Best Minister in 2017, 2019 and 2023.


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