General Politics

‘Women rejected Akufo-Addo’s choice of Alima’

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wanted to appoint the then-Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs under the Kufuor administration, Hajia Alima, who is the current Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, as his running mate, but that move was strongly opposed by other women groups within the party, the president’s cousin, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has said.

According to him, Mr Akufo-Addo has always had the desire to give women equal opportunities to serve in various capacities, as part of his personal efforts to empower and amplify them.

In a Facebook post, Mr Otchere-Darko said: “A little uncomfortable history to chew on. Me and my big mouth.

“When in early 2008, the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, hinted to the powers within his party that his first choice for running mate was the Minister of Women, Hajia Alima Mahama, the biggest organised opposition came from women, principally, two powerful women groups: (1) the women caucus in Parliament, and (2) women organisers of the party.

“In fact, we woke up one morning with two big buses loaded with Women Organisers across the country parked in front of the candidate’s house at East Legon to lobby him against the choice of the woman. Frankly, it was disheartening and scary. Extremely.

“In 2014/15, the same presidential candidate put on the party’s agenda how to aggressively ensure that women are selected for winnable seats. But, other pressing intra-party issues at the time derailed that important move. I hope the party will put it back on the table.”

Mr Otchere-Darko’s comment comes on the back of trolls against President Akufo-Addo on social media following his participation in a gender discussion outside the country recently where he was called out by his co-panellists, who are feminists, about his claim that women need to show more dynamism if they want to get to the decision-making level.

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