Justin Frimpong Kodua (middle), General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, addressing the press after the New Patriotic Party's  National Executive Committee and National Council meetings. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Justin Frimpong Kodua (middle), General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, addressing the press after the New Patriotic Party's National Executive Committee and National Council meetings. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
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2024 Presidential race: Bawumia, Opoku Prempeh ticket sealed

The National Council of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the second highest decision-making body of the party, has endorsed Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh as the running mate of the party’s flag bearer for the December 7 presidential election.

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The nomination and endorsement of Dr Prempeh, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South, form part of the constitutionally mandated processes of the NPP for selecting its running mate.

The Daily Graphic gathered that the party will officially introduce him to the public on Tuesday at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi. The General Secretary of the party, Justine Frimpong Kodua, at a press briefing in Accra yesterday after the NEC meeting, said:

“I’m happy to announce that after the necessary considerations, the National Council of the party unanimously endorsed the Presidential candidate’s nomination of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Member of Parliament for Manhyia South and Minister of Energy, as his Vice-Presidential Candidate, pursuant to Article 13(3) of the party constitution.”  

In a statement moments after his endorsement, Dr Prempeh said: “I am humbled to be nominated by our distinguished flag bearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and endorsed unanimously by the National Council in accordance with the provisions of the NPP Constitution.”

“I view this nomination as part of God's plan for my life, and I am grateful for His guidance in directing my path,” he added. 

Milestone

Describing the process as a significant milestone, Mr Kodua said it also marked the completion of the presidential ticket of the NPP for the 2024 general election and, therefore, set the stage for the party to fully engage the Ghanaian electorate comprehensively with “our message of transformation.”

He said Dr Prempeh, aka Nana Poku (NAPO), brought along decades of political astuteness, trustworthy leadership, confidence, decisiveness, grass-roots mobilisation, charisma, patriotism and demonstrable incorruptibility.  

Atmosphere

Prior to the announcement of Dr Prempeh as the running mate of the NPP flag bearer, the entire Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel at Ridge, where the meeting and press conference took place, was filled with party supporters and bigwigs, with some singing and chanting the name of Dr Prempeh.

The chanting became deafening when Dr Prempeh was invited into the meeting room to be formally introduced to members of the National Council. Among the crowd were an army of media personnel and bloggers who positioned themselves strategically while the meeting went on.

Personnel of the media had a hectic time entering the venue for the press conference.
 

Who is NAPO?

Dr Prempeh is a 56-year-old medical doctor, a Christian and a consummate politician. He is a product of Prempeh College and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where he won the position as President of the local National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) from 1991 to 1992.  

After completing his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB CHB) in 1994, he continued with a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences in 1998 and proceeded to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied a certificate course in Leadership and Government.

In 2002, he pursued postgraduate training in surgery (MRCS) in the United Kingdom (UK). Dr Prempeh returned to Ghana in 2005, after working with the National Health Service in the UK to pursue a career in business and in politics during which he succeeded Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor as the MP for Manhyia in 2009.

The constituency was divided during the 2012 elections and he won the newly created Manhyia South Constituency, a seat he retained for the NPP in 2016 and 2020. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed him as Minister of Education during his first term and also as Energy Minister in his second term.

Mr Kodua said in recognition of his leadership skills, the contributions of Dr Prempeh towards education in the country, particularly in respect of his role in the implementation of the government’s flagship Free SHS programme and other transformational policies in education had been recognised by the University of Education Winneba (UEW), the University of

Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), which have all conferred honorary doctorate degrees on him.In July 2021, the NPP General Secretary said Dr Prempeh was invited to join the Mission 4.7 High-Level Advisory Group, a joint initiative of UNESCO, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Columbia University.

Dr Prempeh, Mr Kodua said, shared the vision of bold solutions Dr Bawumia had for the country that were responsive to the needs, opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

In that regard, he said, Dr Prempeh complemented “our flag bearer in many significant ways and the two enjoy a warm, personal relationship anchored on deep mutual respect.” Mr Kodua added that Dr Prempeh also had a great working relationship with Dr Bawumia.

“The synergy between these two great leaders on our presidential ticket, coupled with their proven track-record and transformational campaign message, will help the NPP to secure a resounding third consecutive electoral victory on December 7, 2024, by the grace of God,” Mr Kodua stated.

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Deeply honoured

Dr Prempeh said he was deeply honoured to be chosen as the running mate of the NPP flag bearer. The Manhyia South lawmaker and Energy Minister said he was privileged and duty-bound to extend his full support to the flag bearer “as we work together to realise his visionary agenda of propelling Ghana to greater heights”.

He said he considered the nomination as a call to higher service, sacrifice and a duty to perform. Dr Prempeh thanked the National Council, the rank and file of the party and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for their unwavering support and faith in him. 

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