Seidu Agongo Rallies Female Support For NDC’s Naana Jane

Seidu Agongo Rallies Female Support For NDC’s Naana Jane Seidu Agongo Rallies Female Support For NDC’s Naana Jane

Businessman and founder of the collapsed Heritage Bank, Seidu Agongo, has underscored the importance of young girls, particularly Ghanaian females, having their kind, serving as role models, as they grow to contribute their quota to the development of their country.

In a piece themed "Ghanaian girls should have presidential role models too", Alhaji Agongo, lauded the selection of Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as the running mate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) saying, although it has been long in coming, it "should mean more than just another historic feat in our democratic and human capital development journeys".

The philanthropist, said "Despite our unparalleled feats in the area of democracy and sociopolitical stability, Ghana is yet to break the proverbial glass ceiling that will allow a woman to occupy the highest or the second highest positions of the land -- the President or the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.

Until Prof. Opoku-Agyemang's selection this year, the most basic of the requirements to becoming a President or a Vice President, which is by merely attempting to occupy that seat, had not been potently made by the female gender".

The businessman, is known to be bias for women, children and the underprivileged.

He explained that, although some of the political parties, have tried to elect women as presidential or vice presidential candidates, their efforts amounted to nothing simply because, these parties in most cases, fail to even make it to the ballot let alone make any impact in the elections to keep hope alive.

With special interest in women, children and the underprivileged, Alhaji Agongo, said that the more women are able to participate in the political discourses, from the lowest to the highest, the better the country stands to gain.

"The female Presidential or Vice Presidential candidates before her, were and are either from parties that had (have) never won political power and/or had (have) failed to make their way onto the ballot box since 1992.This is not good for gender equality and equity, the two words that may mean less in theory, but everything in reality.

From research to practice, it is abundantly clear that, having more women leaders at the top of political decision making, increases the number of women participation in politics at the base and nation building as a whole".

Getting more women at the top he argued "……enables more inclusive decisions from the top, something that is needed to help bridge the economic gap and other sources of disparities between the male and the female gender, the north and the south divide and the haves and the have nots in the country.

Many feminist theorists also argue forcefully, and rightfully so that having more women in leadership reduces the possibilities of conflicts, political witch-huntings and human rights abuses in a society.

Given the acidic and vengeful nature of our sociopolitical environment currently and the implications on the economy, there's no gainsaying that, the country needs that stabilizer of a woman leader now than ever".

Adding, "It will not only refocus our energies on the things that matter most -- reducing child mortality, ensuring safe pregnancy and delivery, eliminating childhood killer diseases, finding decent shelters and jobs for the aged and the young respectfully and generally equalizing opportunities for all -- it will also help to dowse the unnecessarily hot temperatures in our political space.

Making his case stronger, Alhaji Agongo, said the quest to have more females in the political space and even rise to the topmost level-----be it vice or president was critical, considering the fact that Ghana's population shows women outnumber the men. He wondered why in a democracy, the minority will be the ones governing the majority.

"Beyond 57 per cent of the population being under 25 years currently, more than half of Ghanaians are female. This underscores the overwhelming majority of the vulnerable population in the country.

With democracy referring basically to a rule of the people, by the people and for the people, one wonders why a nation that has more females than males, will allow the minority gender to continue to lead.

How democratic can we claim to be when we have failed to allow the gender equation, which is as important in the numbers as it is in catalyzing development, to manifest at the apex of political leadership for almost three decades?"

Even more worrying he said, was the fact that, these females are as intelligent as their male counterparts and possess similar qualities as well.

"The findings of a study published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) on June 25, 2019, showed that women possessed and exhibited better leadership qualities than their male counterparts.

"The study said women were rated as excelling in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practicing self-development, driving for results, and displaying high integrity and honesty".

"In fact, they were thought to be more effective in 84 per cent of the competencies that we most frequently measure," the study revealed.

The businessman, as well as philanthropist, continued to use the example of Prof Opoku-Agyemang, who after serving as a lecturer headed one of the leading universities in the country------Cape Coast University, became the Minister of Education and now risen to the enviable position of the first female candidate, for a major political party like the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him "Because of years of sustained positive activism, the creation of equal opportunities and the deliberate, albeit insufficient empowerment of females, the country is blessed with a variety of female talents that can make great Presidents and Vice Presidents when given the support that their male counterparts, have been getting all this while.

What we now need is a psychological reorientation that will open our eyes to the many benefits there are in having a woman President or a Vice President".

He enumerated the few instances Ghana chalked, some firsts in appointing female Chief Justice on two occasions and another female Speaker of Parliament, ahead of the often men appointees.

He went on to encourage those whose responsibility it is to make the inclusion of women at all levels to continue to do more and even work harder, until the desired goal is achieved.

"While Prof. Opoku-Agyemang's appointment as a Running Mate may be unprecedented, it has been long in coming, in essence and for the wider purpose that it serves, outside of the 2020 political campaign season.

The country, especially persons committed to us having presidential role models for the girl child, must now fight together to actualize it for the gains to be realized".

Alhaji Agongo, said it is time for Ghana to rise to the occasion and make it count by having it first female vice president, especially at a time the world over this agenda is being spearheaded.

"As she herself has said before, what matters is not being the first to walk through the door: What matters is leaving that door open for many others to pass through and her track record in public service speaks to this.

But we cannot have our girl children walk through an attempt-to-open door. They can only walk through an opened door; one whose opening means more than just an opportunity for gender equality and women empowerment".



How democratic can we claim to be when we have failed to allow the gender equation, which is as important in the numbers as it is in catalyzing development, to manifest at the apex of political leadership for almost three decades?

The author is a businessman and philanthropist, with special interest in women, children and the underprivileged. He's the founder of the collapsed Heritage Bank Ghana Limited.

Email address: [email protected]