Dr Prempeh earned ministerial appointment on merit - Group

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh

A group calling itself, 'Friends of NAPO' have jumped to the defence of the Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh following a media publication that suggests that he “appears to know next to nothing about education.”

According to the group, the suggestion that President Akufo-Addo only appointed Dr Prempeh to “appease a very prominent Ashanti chief,” as alleged in the October 2018 publication of the Africawatch magazine was also unfortunate.

In a statement reacting on behalf of the group in the Manhyia South constituency where Dr Prempeh was a Member of Parliament, Mr Kwaku Owusu Ansah indicated that the magazine’s description of the Education Minister as knowing nothing about education was not a true reflection of the reality and insisted that Dr Prempeh earned the ministerial appointment on merit.

He said the “Africawatch, magazine that prides itself of being America’s only pan-African monthly magazine and has been absent from the Ghanaian newsstands since January 2018” falsely suggested that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed Dr Prempeh to appease a very prominent Ashanti chief.

“Interestingly, Dr Mathew Napo Opoku Prempeh, the education minister who was appointed by Akufo-Addo to appease a very prominent Ashanti chief, appears to know next to nothing about education, and as such has been doing anything substantive except to respond to even constructive criticisms with insults,” the magazine published in its October 2018 edition which focuses on Ghana, with the headline “Ghana: A Nation In Despair.”

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According to Mr Owusu Ansah, in giving an account of how Ghana, as a nation, was moving and, in assessing the current government flagship programme, the Free Senior High School (Free SHS), the magazine said the very minister supervising the programme “knew nothing about education”.

He said the Education Minister, who topped all ministers in the assessment made by the government, is qualified like any other Ghanaian and does not need any chief to lobby for his appointment.

He said Dr. Prempeh has served the New Patriotic Party (NPP) well and has the requisite educational background and political experience to hold a ministerial position.

He said the estimation of the Africawatch magazine that Dr. Prempeh does not take constructive criticism was “another palpable falsehood against the minister, who is rather known to be ever ready to share ideas and consult others for the betterment of the educational sector.”

He said Dr Opoku Prempeh has always been resolute in parrying criticisms that are obviously made to score cheap political points and to run his ministry down.

Free SHS

“It is instructive to know that there have been several attempts to run the Free SHS progamme down by persons who are opposed to the programme.”

In doing so, the Education Minister has been the target of the grand murky agenda to sabotage the Free SHS to the extent that some elements offered money to serial callers to denigrate the minister on radio,” Mr Owusu Ansah said.

NAPO's background

Dr. Prempeh was born on May 23, 1968 and was first elected as Member of Parliament for the Manhyia Constituency in 2008. He now represents Manhyia South, after the division of the Manhyia Constituency into north and south in 2012.

In 2016, he was re-elected with 35,958 votes, representing 87.17 percent of the votes cast.

He studied human biology and medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), later continuing post-graduate studies at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Prior to entering Parliament, he served as CEO of Keyedmap Security Services Limited from 2004 to 2009 and as a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2003.

He is a Christian and a nephew of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

In May, 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo named Dr. Prempeh as part of the 19 ministers in his cabinet.

As a Cabinet Minister, Dr. Prempeh is part of the inner circle of President Akufo-Addo and is to aid in key decision-making activities in the country.