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A medical doctor raised from the house of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s carriers, also known as the Apagya Royals, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh becomes the first MP from the Ashanti Region to be named a running mate.

In this article our news team in Kumasi has chronicled the journey of a Medical Practitioner turned politician.

Medical doctor and a devoted Christian

Nana Poku, affectionately called NAPO, is 56 years old

Born to Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie and Madam Elizabeth Akosua Nyarko, NAPO’s father was one of the many sons of the 14th Asantehene, Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh II.

Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie ruled as Apagyahene of Manhyia Palace for over four decades until his demise on 23rd June, 2013.

NAPO’s relationship with Manhyia Palace is rooted in his upbringing and has been a significant aspect of his identity, both personality and politically.

As a direct descendant of Asante royalty, NAPO carries with him the expectations of his responsibilities of his heritage.

72-year-old Nana Kwabena Mensah saw Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s development from childhood. He said NAPO has exhibited his ability to carry out delegated tasks and get results.

Nana Kwabena Mensah

“I am dazzled by his sheer sense of self- awareness and respect for leadership. I observed that every time, he respects everybody he is working or dealing with,” he said.

In 2007, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh won the NPP’s primary for the Manhyia Constituency and subsequently won the 2008 parliamentary election.

Although Manhyia was split into north and south, NAPO maintained the south, a seat he has held since 2012.

NAPO took over from Ghana’s former Defence Minister, Dr Kwame Addo Kufour. He has held his position as lawmaker for the now Manhyia South Constituency for 16 years.

His selection as the running mate for NPP to some extent is deemed a strategic move that resonates with the people of the Ashanti Region, who see in him a reflection of their own values and aspirations.

He is a product of Prempeh College and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, both in Kumasi, as well as the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

It was at KNUST that he made his first appearance as a leader, after he won the position as the local National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) President, a position he held from 1991 to 1992.

The Chief Executive Officer of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Prof Otchere Addai Mensah, who was NAPO’s Junior at Prempeh College and also worked with him when he was the National Vice President of UTAG, believed that NAPO is a performer.

Prof Otchere Addai Mensah

“I was at KNUST and was the National Vice-President of UTAG. I have dealings, working relations with him, both directly and indirectly. In all these occasions he comes across as assertive, bold supportive and empathetic.

He speaks his mind just like I do. He is not a saint. He has his flaws just like all of us do. But, I believe that he is a performer, doer, and at any point in time he is the person I can call on.

I have no doubt, his works at Energy and Education ministries will speak volumes about his abilities to deliver,” Dr Addai Mensah said.

Owing to his passion for education, President Akufo-Addo appointed him as Education Minister during his first term. As Minister of Education, NAPO spearheaded the implementation of the famous Free Senior High School policy.

He is the current Energy Minister responsible for energy policy, formulation, monitoring, implementation as well as evaluation of energy sector activities.

His direct competition going into 2024 elections will be the running mate of the NDC, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang who has also held the position of Minister of Education under the erstwhile NDC administration.

By Benjamin Aidoo