Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has described as false, a publication by the Africawatch magazine to the effect that he was appointed as minister by President Nana Akufo-Addo to appease a prominent chief in the Ashanti Region – his native home.
A statement released by Dr Opoku Prempeh on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, said: “The magazine, which has been absent from the Ghanaian newsstands since January this year, until it surfaced on the streets of Accra last week, says that Dr. Prempeh, popularly known as ‘Napo’ was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appease a very prominent Ashanti chief, something which is palpably false”.
According to the statement, the October 2018 edition of Africawatch focuses on Ghana, with the headline ‘Ghana: A Nation In Despair.’
It gave an account of how Ghana, as a nation, was moving, and, in assessing the current government’s flagship programme, the Free Senior High School (Free SHS), “told that huge lie about the very minister supervising the programme”, the statement noted.
It added: “The Education Minister, who topped all ministers in the assessment made by the government, is qualified like any other Ghanaian and does not need any chief to lobby for his appointment. Dr. Prempeh has served the New Patriotic Party (NPP) well and has the requisite educational background and political experience to hold a ministerial position.
“In the estimation of Africawatch, Dr. Prempeh does not take constructive criticism, another palpable falsehood against the minister, who is rather known to be ever ready to share ideas and consult others for the betterment of the educational sector. However, the minister has always been resolute in parrying criticisms that are obviously made to score cheap political points and to run his ministry down.
“It is instructive to know that there have been several attempts to run the Free SHS progamme down by persons who are opposed to the programme.
“In doing so, the Education Minister has been the target of the grand murky agenda to sabotage the Free SHS to the extent that some elements offered money to serial callers to denigrate the minister on radio”, the statement added.
Dr. Prempeh was first elected as the Member of Parliament for the Manhyia Constituency in 2008. He now represents Manhyia South, after the division of the Manhyia Constituency.
In 2016, he was re-elected with 35,958 votes, or 87.17% of the votes cast in the district. He studied human biology and medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), later continuing post-graduate studies at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Prior to entering parliament, he served as CEO of Keyedmap Security Services Limited from 2004 to 2009 and as a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2003. He identifies as a Christian and is a nephew of former President John Kufuor.
“In May 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo named Dr. Prempeh as part of 19 ministers who would form his cabinet. The names of the 19 ministers were submitted to the Parliament of Ghana and announced by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye.
As a Cabinet Minister, Dr. Prempeh is part of the inner circle of the president and is to aid in key decision-making activities in the country, the statement said.
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