A Development Consultant and Democracy Engineer, Dr Nansata Yakubu, has enjoined the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to give a woman the opportunity to occupy the running mate position of the party for the 2020 Election.
That, Dr Yakubu opined, would bring dynamism and freshness to the party’s presidential ticket for the 2020 Election.
According to Dr Yakubu, it was high time the NDC demonstrated good governance by presenting to Ghanaians a capable woman as the party’s running mate for the 2020 polls.
Sharing her perspective on the subject of who becomes the running mate for the NDC in an interview, Dr Yakubu said, ‘‘There are equally competent, experienced, formidable and energetic women in NDC who can also occupy the high position of a Vice-President if given the opportunity.’’
In the case of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), she said they were in power so it was out of the debate for now, adding that it was the NDC which was searching for a running mate for its flag bearer, so it would be prudent that a woman was given the opportunity since 51 per cent of the population was made up of women.
On February 23, 2019, the NDC elected former President John Mahama as its flag bearer for election 2020. The party is yet to select its running mate.
Dr Yakubu said the argument as to whether the nation was ready for a female Vice-President or not was not the issue in focus.
That, she said, was because the nation had never given women the opportunity to demonstrate their competence, adding that they could only be judged when given the opportunity.
She said one might argue that in the 2016 Election, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom chose a woman, Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku, as his running mate, and women like Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings stood for elections, but those were political parties whose structures were not well developed to be seen as strong contenders to become a third force.
Additionally, she said a former Member of Parliament for the Ellembelle Constituency, Ms Samia Nkrumah, tried to become the presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and failed ‘‘but you and I know that CPP is a fragmented party. So we need the two big political parties to call the shots’’.
Dr Yakubu stressed that the talk about grooming people for a position did not apply here because both the NPP and NDC picked candidates such as the late President Mills, late Vice-President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and even the current Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who were all technocrats, yet they were given the opportunity to contribute their quotas to the development of the nation.
Dr Yakubu emphasised that women had been at the forefront of politics since independence, yet for all the 11 Presidents the country had had, including military rule, no woman had ever occupied the Vice -Presidential position as it had always been men.
‘‘The 2003 elections in Rwanda presented the highest proportion of women in its national legislature. By 2008, Rwanda was the only nation in the world with a larger proportion of female than male parliamentarians, all because of the gender quota that the government enforced,’’ Dr Yakubu pointed out.
That, according to her, had proven that if women were given the opportunity, they would be able to excel in politics despite threats of violence and oppressed situations.