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Father of 22-year-old MP aspirant speaks; My daughter is intelligent

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Francisca Oteng-Mensah

The Father of Francisca Oteng-Mensah , the 22-year-old female Member of Parliament aspirant at Kwabre East in Ashanti has broken his silence on his daughter’s political ambition.

According to Dr Kwaku Oteng, who owns the Kumasi-based Angel Group of Companies that operates a number of properties including Angel Herbal, Angel FM, Angel TV and Angel Educational Complex among a host of other holdings, he was very proud of his daughter’s endeavours and was fully supportive of her.

In an interview on Accra based Oman FM, he described his daughter as an intelligent young lady who started exhibiting traits of political ambition at age 10.

Francisca Oteng-Mensah last Saturday got an overwhelming endorsement by delegates to contest as New Patriotic Party Parliamentary candidate in the Kwabre East Constituency of Ashanti in 2016.

She beat the incumbent MP, Kofi Frempong who had been in Parliament since 2004. The NPP organised the primaries last Saturday to elect parliamentary candidates in 247 constituencies for the 2016 elections.

Francisca won the Kwabre East constituency with 331 votes, as against 189 by the incumbent Kofi Frempong. The other candidates Lawyer Osei Poku got 202 and K. Adjei- Sefa had 33 votes.

There have been commendations as well as criticisms for the young lady with regards to her age and the fact that she was still a law student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

Some have questioned how she would be able to combine her education and duties as a parliamentarian.

Others have argued she won because her father who was financially endowed sponsored her campaign and financially influenced the delegates.

But responding to the concerns, Dr Kwaku Oteng said he doubted if the delegates were influenced by money.

According to him, it was common for people to conclude that way and said if the delegates were to be influenced with money, then the incumbent MP (Kofi Frempong) should have won since he spent far in excess of what Francisca spent on the delegates.

"The delegates genuinely liked her and her message was able to win it," he said.

Dr Oteng said that women in Ghana were very good at taking care of things and issues than men when enthrusted in their care.

He saw the feat as an honour saying his daughter was not just a small girl but was disciplined and gifted.

He said Francisca fell in love with politics from age 10 and always engaged him (father) in political talk coming up with her own analysis of situations how A or B should have handled a particular issue.

According to Dr Oteng, when the women’s organiser at Kwabre East realized that, Francisca had an interest in politics, she started grooming her and made her a patron about three years ago.

Francisca, he said, started sponsoring them from then on and they started pushing for her to lead them because they saw good leadership qualities in her.

On concerns about how she was going to combine education and work as an MP, Dr Oteng said there was no end to education and that her education was not going to be a problem when combined with politics.

"She started travelling on her own at age 10. On one occasion she travelled to London alone and was detained at Heathrow for four hours. They phoned me to enquire why I had allowed her to travel alone and I explained and they allowed her to go," he said.

Oteng-Mensah who turned 22 on February 14, 2015 could become the youngest parliamentarian in Ghana at age 24 should she win the general elections in 2016. Her constituency is a ‘safe’ seat for the NPP.