Afenyo-Markin incurs Minority wrath over running mate age comment  

Story: Yaw Takyi 

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South, Dzifa Abla Gomashie, has criticized Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin’s remarks about Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, describing them as culturally and professionally unacceptable.

On Monday, the Minority caucus took exception to the Majority Leader’s claim that the selection of Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, a woman in her 70s, as the NDC’s running mate, signifies a lack of succession planning and visionary leadership within the NDC.

The Majority Leader’s initial refusal to retract his comment as demanded by the minority caucus led to a disruption in the debate, prompting the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, to suspend the house’s proceedings.

However, when the house resumed sitting, Mr Afenyo-Markin withdrew his statement, saying, “colleagues expressed a concern about the issue of age. Mr Speaker, the submission was to the effect that our opponents don’t have a clear succession plan for the future [and] not to denigrate their running mate based on age. So I withdraw that aspect of the submission that referred to her age as the basis of my contention.”

Speaking to journalists on the issue , the Ketu South MP stated “I think that it’s unfair. It is culturally unacceptable, professionally unacceptable,” adding that she would not tolerate anyone undermining Prof Opoku-Agyemang, given her accomplishments.

She also declared that Ghanaian women would not allow anyone to take their peers for granted. The MP thus called on her colleagues to be mindful of their words.

“We the women of Ghana will not tolerate anybody running one of the [women] who has dared to achieve what we want, to bring them down with language that is not edifying, that is not celebratory. That is not empowering we will not sit down and have that happen because there are too few women who have dared to do the things that we want to do.

“Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, our president is older. Is he not still leading this country? All these that he has done abysmally. Do we say that we should clear him off and call him all kinds of things because he is over 80, NO.

“All I am saying is that people should be guided and watch their tongue when they are speaking about Prof Naana Opoku-Agyeman because I will not take that sitting down…and also in that chamber even when we are doing politics let’s be guided how we do the politics,” she said.

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