NAPO not ready for vice presidency – ASEPA, others

By Benjamin A. Commey

Accra, July 10, GNA – The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) Ghana and some civil society organisations have questioned the choice of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh as the Running Mate to Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

According to the CSOs, the current Energy Minister lacked the competence and capacity to be Vice President of the country should the NPP win the 2024 election.

The CSOs said this at a news conference, in Accra on Tuesday, addressed by Mr Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of ASEPA.

The CSOs include the Community Focus Foundation (CFF) Ghana; Arise Ghana; Democratic Credentials Network; 5 Second Connect Ghana; Africa Center for Economic and Environmental Sustainability Ratings and the Coalition of CSOs in Education.

The rest are Peakquins Educational Foundation of Excellence; Grassroots Mobilizers Network Ghana; Coalition of Ghanaians without Ghana Card and Energy Watch Africa.

The National Council of the NPP, last week, confirmed Dr Prempeh’s nomination as the Running Mate to the Party’s flag bearer, Dr Bawumia.

The NPP, on Tuesday, July 09, officially unveiled him as the Party’s Vice-Presidential Candidate, in Kumasi.

Mr Thompson said the CSOs were shocked by Dr Prempeh’s nomination to be the Vice-Presidential candidate to the flag bearer considering his performance and conduct as Minister for Education and Minister for Energy.

According to him, Dr Prempeh had exhibited a lack of competence and capacity to discharge his mandate effectively and efficiently.

For instance, at the Ministry of Education, Mr Thompson said Dr Prempeh, oversaw the “poor implementation” of the free SHS programme, alleging that he created the foundation for “all the problems confronting the free SHS programme today”.

“He failed to envision the pressure the programme would have on infrastructure, failed to plan for the increased numbers and by the third year under his leadership, we had the first ever double track system in our secondary schools.

“NAPO gave birth to a double track system, which has drastically reduced the contact period for the SHS students, reducing quality by a greater standard,” he asserted.

Again, Mr Thompson accused the former Education Minister of overseeing the increase in basic schools without desks between 30 per cent in 2017 to 40 per cent in 2021.

Also, he said, Dr Prempeh supervised the introduction of a new curriculum, in 2019, without textbooks.

Mr Thompson also accused Dr Prempeh of supervising “shady, dubious and needless procurements” at the Ministry of Education, including a contract to supply calculators to SHS students, a $ 1 million contract for the development of a Learning Management System for basic schools during the COVID-19 lockdown and a contract to supply 26000units of laptops to teachers.

Those contracts, he said, denied the country millions of cedis.

As the Minister of Energy, Mr Thompson said Dr Prempeh failed to make any significant impact, saying “Since NAPO took over the Ministry in 2021, not a single oil block has been awarded.”

“Unlike Dr Bawumia whose job at the Central Bank was not visibly obvious to the people of Ghana when he was appointed Running Mate to then Candidate Akufo-Addo, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has served in many capacities right before our very eyes and we have an obligation to access him, weigh his capacity and competencies in the previous role before we arrogate him with more powers,” he said.

He added: “In the foregoing, we believe that the choice of Dr. Opoku Prempeh signifies a total disregard for competencies, personal achievements, integrity and moral uprightness.”