Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has urged Ghanaians to join hands with her and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to chart a new path for Ghana.
In her inaugural speech as running mate to former President John Mahama on Monday, 27 July 2020, the former Minister of Education said: “To all the little girls and boys across our country, always dream big; remain focused. You can grow to become anything you want to be”.
“Believe that only you can stop yourselves. It is not going to be about your parents, rich or poor; not the region you come from and whether it is endowed with resources or not”, Ghana’s first-ever female Vice-Chancellor of a public university encouraged.
She continued: “Remember that natural endowment is what it is; it did not come from the effort of anyone. It is nature that placed those resources there. That is why we call them natural resources. It is rather about a system that works; a functioning country that respects all its citizens and provides opportunity to all, regardless. The time is ripe for change”.
She noted that “the time is now”.
She also encouraged girls to aspire to the best of their abilities.
“To my daughters and sisters: We are in this together; you know as I do that it has not been and will not be an easy walk; but, as we all know, it is possible; actually it is probable; we can do it.
“I know too well and have also lived some of the unspoken and unspeakable weight of responsibilities and concerns we bear as women – much more so, at these incredibly difficult times.
“What we have always shown however is that when we have the opportunity, many choose to bring on our best game.
We earn our seat at the table and we excel. Our results transform our families, communities and country; and sometimes, go beyond our borders, porous or otherwise”, she said.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang acknowledged that Ghana’s “democracy has come a long way, yet it remains fragile. It calls on all of us to exercise our civic duty against any obstacles and machinations.
“I urge each of us to show up and participate in the ongoing voter registration exercise, but please observe all the necessary health protocols. Please look out for each other.
“Politely remind people to use their face masks correctly, offer your hand sanitiser to someone in need. If you see a disabled person or an elderly person or pregnant woman, offer help. For that is the Ghanaian spirit”, she urged.
She said: “I extend a hand to everyone, no matter how disappointed you have become; no matter the depth of your frustration, your anger, your despair. Come! Let’s chart a path for our country built on the values of integrity, merit, trust, responsible citizenship, caring, putting others first, simple polite language.
“Come let us link effort and thoughts, to re-build our institutions; let’s build a truly independent, inclusive nation that is not afraid to respect views that differ from ours; a country confident enough to accept other ways of seeing; of respecting everyone, regardless.
“Come, men, women, our youth, our children- together, let us build the Ghana we can have which must belong to us all, and which must pay special, working and workable attention to the vulnerable.
“We must bring back the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality that seems locked down if not quarantined. We must ease restrictions on the Ghana we know that respects, tolerates, liberates. The time is now.
“As a country, Ghana has been poised for far too long. Ghana must be in full flight towards sustainable development, to a destination of peace, inclusion, self-confidence, plain honesty and where good old hard work matters. We call on all our countrywomen and men who believe that our country can once again travel the path of hope to come join us. The time is now. Forth in the name of our country we will go”, she said.