Professor Opoku-Agyemang has an insatiable desire for service. Her work ethic is in itself leadership elevated to an art. And I’ve witnessed this distinct quality she possesses, in abundance, from a front-row seat.
The Vice-Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress — John Mahama’s seasoned co-pilot — has this profound ability to instantly establish an intimate connection with voters while on the move.
It’s past sunset and Professor Opoku-Agyemang has been on the road since sunrise. We finally arrive at the Sekondi Palace and maneuver through the euphoric swam of patriotic citizens — many of them visibly seduced by her presence.
It’s the last official event of the day and her entire team is terribly exhausted. But not the Vice-Presidential candidate. For her, the deeply engrained pursuit of excellence goes on. Professor Opoku-Agyemang is always ready to draw people closer and deliberate with them.
She has an infectious charisma that arouses excitement within the mass-based rank and file of the party. But what she’s even far more remarkably excellent at is to stimulate the intellectual interest of apolitical people and apathetic voters.
A young frail gentleman, his eyes firmly fixed on Professor Opoku-Agyemang as she gesticulates and bonds with fellow citizens, was overpowered by excitement. He stretched forth his lean hands, almost on the verge of tears, and beamed with a beautiful smile.
The affection was reciprocal and quite characteristic of a woman that has spent decades dedicated to the lives of others – especially young people. She gazed at the young man for a brief moment, with an obvious look of melancholy, and waved.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang never ceases to take her eyes off the voters. She devotes her entire attention to the energy of the crowd and measures the pulse of the people.
To the exuberant youth lined up on the streets, the emotions do not stem from their fascination with her fame, there’s more to it. Professor Opoku-Agyemang is a symbol of hope — a path out of poverty and disease; a pioneer of a better future.
As a pace-setting academic — the first female Vice-Chancellor of a state University — her natural instinct is to develop the talents of people and create equal opportunity for all; that has been a core value of her profession.
Naana, over the course of her academic career, has administered an institution clustered with citizens from all provinces of Ghana. The Cape Coast University, a centre of scholarship over which she presided, is more a less a microcosm of the Republic. And that’s why her stance on ethnocentrism is straightforward: to deconstruct institutionalized tribalism and build on the values that unite us.
She emerged through the glass ceilings of society with grace and earned the respect of Ghanaians. She continues to restore faith in the hearts of us all that politics can, indeed, be a decent profession if done differently.
This is a defining moment for Ghana. We are on the verge of a historic occasion and she’s at the heart of this movement. Her revolution is about love, peace and fraternity.
The author, V. L. K. Djokoto