NDC Vice Presidential Candidate: Why Not Dr.Zanetor Rawlings?
By Mohammed Baba Sanni (New Jersey, USA)
The next government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should be a fulfillment of the lofty promise that the next phase of democratic governance holds for the country.
Its shape and character should be such that it will depict adequate balance and capacity that are necessarily required for the effective discharge of its functions.
One of the key positions that is speedily generating interest after the election of the flagbearer of the party, John Dramani Mahama, is that of his running mate.
As the race for the selection of the vice–presidential candidate heightens, individuals, both within and outside the party, have continued to make cases for their respective candidates, which is a perfect norm that is popularly upheld by democracies across the world.
The competition for the second most powerful person in the NDC is already a process that has effectively engaged various stakeholders in the party, with each one or a section of it tirelessly trying to promote arguments that are favorable to its preferred contender.
In a bid to ensure that an informed choice that the party and, especially, its presidential candidate have embarked on a search for the most capable person whose emergence will, therefore, take care of most of the concerns that are being incessantly expressed over who will be best suited to lead the party, when John Dramani Mahama, finally makes his exit.
There has been this beautiful argument on why John Dramani Mahama should maintain Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, that sort of proposal is a sort that many would dismiss as a beautiful nonsense. Yet, it is gaining traction and has received some reasonable publicity. One must confess, the argument is fairly compelling. But it certainly falls short of some critical benchmarks.
As a concerned citizen and sympathizer of the NDC, I am of the firm belief that, the Member of Parliament of Korle-Klottey and daughter of the Founder of the party, Dr.Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings is in possession of all the qualifications necessary for the position.
She has appeared to have satisfied all the basic requirements that are most critical to be selected as the running mate and subsequently vice-president of the country.
Dr.Zanetor Rawlings fits into all the reasonable calculations on the ongoing search for the running mate to John Mahama, because she satisfied all the requirements that has always been considered in who partners any presidential candidate.
The issue of equity, which includes giving women the opportunity to serve in government, is most fundamental and therefore needs to be sufficiently addressed in order to maintain balance in the power structure of the country.
Dr.Zanetor’s life, in many respects, we think, is anchored on the arc of progress for women in the Ghanaian society. Her mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, formed the 31st December Women’s Movement. A movement that gave women a voice in this country.
John Dramani Mahama has demonstrated his willingness to have a woman partner him, that was why in the 2020 election, he chose Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman to be his running mate.
Unfortunately, the outcome of the election was not what was expected. Another opportunity has presented itself for him to make another choice and the exigencies of the time call for a sober reflection and a choice that will resonate not only with members of the NDC, but the nation.
Dr.Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings stands tall among most women in this country; she has the fighting spirit of her father and the can-do-spirit of her mother and these combined makes her the perfect choice for the NDC for election 2024.
In a multi-ethnic country, like Ghana, where balancing has become an article of political faith, it is only fair and reasonable for a candidate from the North choose his running mate from the South.
The word South means so many things to so many people. The South, like the North, is made up of eleven regions, a suitable candidate must appeal to voters in those regions.
Dr.Zanetor holds that key, since she belongs to three key regions where the NDC gets most of its votes, by virtue of her father and mother.
President Jerry John Rawlings, although an Ewe from the Volta Region, was born, bred and raised in the Greater Accra Region. It is no secret his affinity to the people of the region. He identifies with them and has contributed in no means to helping the people in Accra.
He hails from the Volta Region, which is considered the world bank of the party. Selecting his daughter to partner John Mahama is not only doing right by the region, but honoring the memory of the Founder of the party.
Her mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, is from the Ashanti Region; she is a royal. The NDC party, has over the years, tried unsuccessfully to sway the people of the region from blind allegiance to the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The region somehow came through for the party. In the 2020 general elections, the NDC had more votes from the Ashanti Region, than it did in its world bank.
By virtue of her mother being a royal, she is also one by birth. The Ashanti custom dictates that, children inherit from their mother side; they are matrimonial and so Dr.Zanetor, is by every stretch of imagination and royal and a granddaughter of the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.
There is a saying that, anyone who is striving to get something to Manhyia must not be denied. Otumfuo will support her nomination, because when she becomes, Manhyia becomes.
This is testament to the fact that, should the NDC give the region due recognition, the people will come out in their numbers to vote for the party.
Dr.Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings is 45 years of age; the future of the party and the country belongs to the youth and they, it is often said, are the future leaders of the country.
I have often said that, you cannot be driving forward and looking into the rearview mirror. The old must always give way to the new and, in doing so, the youth must be given the opportunity to serve and learn.
Ghana has reached a stage in its life, where the youth must take over, the elderly have failed this country; they were given so much, yet have done so little.
Dr. Zanetor,at 45, represents everything that a country requires in its forward march. She is youthful, she is a youth at age and in heart.
President Mahama, after 2028, will handover power, and what better way and time to do it than to handover to Zanetor.
Member Of Parliament
Dr.Zanetor is among the few women who have dared to enter mainstream politics. Her participation is to be celebrated as inspiration for young women. It is a further proof that opening doors to women elevates and strengthens humanity.
She has, in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, defeated men, given hope to many women that, it is possible.
She is better placed to partner John Mahama, because she has a Constituency. She is not only coming alone, but she is bringing along with her Korle-Klottey.
Jerry John Rawlings
The icing on the cake, you will say, is the fact that, she is the daughter of the founder of the National Democratic Congress, Jerry John Rawlings.
The mother, Nana Konadu, is also a founder member of the party; in fact, the emblem of the party, which we all so much love, is to her credit.
She was a strong and unwavering member of the party, until she broke away to form her party. NDC is her home and the party is all the better for her return, choosing her daughter as the running mate, is a surest way to welcome her back into the fold.
Very few stand up and be counted when the history of this country is to be written. President Jerry John Rawlings paid his dues to the party and the country. He sacrificed his family in the service of the nation. He was a fine man who had a profound gift of the tongue.
For him, words could and did move mountains and he used same to take control of affairs of state of Ghana for close to 20 years.
The apple, they say, does not fall far from the tree. Dr.Zanetor has taken the flair of the father; she has a strong personality, like the dad.
The NDC cannot better honour the founder of the party than to choose his daughter to be the running mate to John Dramani Mahama and possibly become president of the country one day.
The legacy of Jerry Rawlings lives on. He has served his country; it is time for the country to serve him, and what better way to do it than make his daughter the running mate to the NDC and Vice-President of Ghana.
In Dr.Zanetor Rawlings is a potential vice-president of the country, who will help John Dramani Mahama to take Ghana to the next level. Why not her?
Profile of Zanetor
Being a member of the family of the first President of the 4th Republic, and Ghana’s longest-serving head of state, Jerry John Rawlings, Dr. Zanetor has a rich, and arguably, controversial, political pedigree. Her mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, is a founding member of the NDC and also of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
Zanetor Rawlings was born in Ghana and had her basic education in North Ridge Lyceum and Achimota School. She later proceeded to Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast in 1995. She had a tertiary education at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where she graduated as a medical doctor.
Aside from working in General Practice as a Doctor, in 2016, she picked up a career in politics as she contested in the primaries of the party founded by her father, NDC, in a bid to become a legislator for the Korle Klottey constituency. Zanetor has three children.