By Edmund Mingle
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Petra Maria Amegashie, the running mate of Dr. Edward Mahama, Presidential aspirant of the People’s National Convention (PNC), yesterday publicly accepted the offer to partner the PNC leader in the 2008 election, but said she is “not playing second fiddle.”
“I have not settled for second place and I am not playing second fiddle,” she said, explaining that she was backing Dr. Mahama’s campaign with full force as she would have done if she had gone independent.
She said, she would use the same courage with which she had declared her intention to vie for the presidency which is characterised by male dominance, to energise the PNC to win political power.
“I and the PNC and for that matter, Dr. Mahama, are joining forces to face the challenge of wresing power,” a confident looking Ms Amegashie said at a news conference at which she was introduced to the media.
Wearing a white cloth with blue flowery designs, Ms. Amegashie said she had fully accepted the offer and was ready to face the challenges ahead. She was fully aware of the political terrain and the fact that it had not been too friendly to women.
Speaking in a low but firm tone, Ms Amegashie described her selection by the PNC as a success for the PNC and Ghana, and pledged her commitment and support to ensure victory for the party.
The nomination of Ms. Amegashie, 49, a Catholic evangelist and businesswoman, as the running mate to Dr. Mahama was endorsed by the party’s National Executive Committee in Accra on Monday, making the PNC the only party so far to have selected a female running mate for the December election.
Though she had earlier picked nomination forms to file as an independent presidential candidate, Dr. Mahama managed to convince her to be his running mate.
Asked what motivated her to go into politics, Ms Amegashie said she was heeding a divine calling to help save Ghanaians from hardship.
She told Dr Mahama: “I represent a voice for women, children, the youth and the disadvantaged in society, and I will be there to support you as Vice President.
“More than anything else, I want to unify our country and to renew the Ghanaian spirit and sense of purpose,” she stated.
She described Dr. Mahama as a selfless individual committed to building a peaceful democracy, saying his vision for Ghana has a major role for women.
“Dr. Mahama offers a new brand of politicking which is issues based and focused on improving the lot of Ghanaians,” she said and added that she accepted the offer because she found her vision in agreement with that of the PNC’s vision as outlined in the party’s manifesto.
“I am bringing a new force of energy into the party,” she said.
In what could be described as comments marking the beginning of her campaign on the ticket of the PNC, she said a PNC government would be committed to the principle that local government was meaningful only when people participated in decision making.She called on all stakeholders in election 2008 to join the PNC to respect the Political Parties Code of Conduct to ensure peaceful campaigning.