Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (left) and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (left) and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party

NAPO is assertive, competent not arrogant — Educationists

Some educationists have described the running mate of the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, popularly known as NAPO, as hardworking, assertive and a confident person.

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They said Dr Opoku Prempeh is fine gentleman; forthright, did not entertain backbiting, was humane, understood the human side of issues and was amenable to giving people a second chance.

Speaking in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic on Dr Opoku Prempeh’s selection as the running mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), they said the flag bearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Dr Opoku Prempeh would combine effectively since both are people with drive and have the youth in mind.

The educationists, who were sharing their perspectives on Dr Opoku Prempeh’s nomination, were a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Rev. Ama Afo Blay; the Vice Chancellor for the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Professor Eric Nyarko-Sampson; and the Provost of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Charles Ofosu Marfo. 

Arrogance

The educationists said Dr Opoku Prempeh was hardworking, confident and spoke straight to the point, which is why some people misconstrue him as arrogant.

“In Ghana, when someone is competent, assertive and self-confident, we invariably interpret that as arrogant. “Meanwhile, there is a vast difference between arrogance and competence,” Rev. Afo Blay asserted.

Human relations

She believed that the human relations of Dr Opoku Prempeh were “fine” and that he related very well with people, citing his days as Education Minister when he was able to handle labour issues very well.

“You can see his calibre when a crisis arises because he can think on his feet and everybody leaves his presence happy and feels satisfied,” she stressed.

Explaining why Dr Opoku Prempeh succeeded as an education minister, Rev. Afo Blay said he got the most seasoned educationists together as a think tank to brainstorm and find solutions to some of the teething problems.

Touching on his nomination, she said politics in Ghana demanded stamina and a huge heart, “which, to me, he has. With his innovative mind, his drive and the way he can carry people along, therefore, I do not see why he should fail.”

His qualities

For his part, Professor Nyarko-Sampson said what he knew about Dr Opoku Prempeh was that when he was well-convinced or had a strong conviction about an issue, he would argue his case strongly.

“He is assertive, self-confident, very well-read and does a lot of consultations with the professionals in respective fields and take their views on issues he’s not conversant with,” he said of NAPO.

Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said the good thing about Dr Opoku Prempeh was that he was quick to acknowledge his shortcomings, adding that he was results-driven and hardworking.

“He takes his work seriously and is able to meet timelines. He’s forthright and does not entertain backbiting other staff or persons. He’s humane, understands the human side of issues, and is amenable to giving people a second chance.

“As a running mate, he brings energy, experience, vibrancy and sustenance to the general campaign. When properly harnessed, these would play in his role as a Vice-President,” Prof. Nyarko-­Sampson declared.

“I think he is the best bet and person for the job. He may have his weaknesses but they could be worked on to be strengths,” he summarised. Sharing his thoughts, Prof. Marfo believed that Dr Opoku Prempeh’s straightforwardness was what people misunderstood as arrogant.

Citing himself as an example, he said initially, he heard people say things about Dr Opoku Prempeh, “but when I got to know him and started working with him, I found out that he is just affable, honest, straightforward and candid.”

Prof. Marfo, a former National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), described Dr Opoku Prempeh as a “great guy”, saying that he had the interest of Ghana at heart and with the right resources available, “he can be one of the greatest Vice Presidents if they win this year’s general election.”

Writer’s  email: [email protected]

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