In the media, the political class in Ghana can look to the untrained eye as enemies at each other's throats, but that image can be misleading. Many of the embers of the two main political parties, NDC and NPP, share close ties. In this article, YEN.com.gh presents a list of 8 known politicians whose relatives belong to the opposing political party.
In public, members of the two main political parties in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) come across as enemies. But away from the public eye, they share many common bonds.
Not long ago, a video of Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson and Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin sitting together at the same table to have their meals went viral.
The amateur video went viral because shortly before the two were captured heartily sharing a lunch table, they had engaged in what to many was a fierce battle of words and wits on the floor of Parliament during the debate on the 2023 mid-year budget review.
The video divided opinions about its significance but many commentators felt it demonstrated the maturity of Ghana's politics.
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However, even stronger evidence of Ghana's political maturity that does not get talked about often in the mainstream media is the close family relatives of politicians found in both NDC and NPP.
Commenting on the issue, the public relations officer for the energy ministry and NPP parliamentary hopeful for the Adentan constituency told YEN.com.gh in an exclusive interview that the trend of close relatives being members of different political parties is good for Ghana's democracy.
"It can be a good way to water down the effect of the winner takes-all-politics and to promote political tolerance. You see, I am NPP but if I have a brother in NDC, and as NPP is in power, my brother can make inputs or suggestions, even if unofficially, in my contributions to decisions on policy. This in the long run will be good for the nation.
Secret friends: Afenyo-Markin and Ato Forson 'caught' on video eating together after hot banter in Parliament
"Also, if I have a brother in the NDC, then I will me more measured in my views about the party because someone close me, not a stranger, belongs to that party. So, generally, it is a good thing. In fact, I wouldn't mind at all if tomorrow one my brothers join the NDC. I will like it."
YEN.com.gh has compiled a list of eight popular politicians affiliated with a certain party but whose close relatives are in the "opposing" party. Here they are:
1. The youthful Jinapor brothers
The "Jinapor Brothers" easily come to mind in any discussion on how politicians with close family ties cut across both NDC and NPP.
This is because both John Jinapor of the NDC and Samuel Abu Jinapor of the NPP are both outspoken and speak for their parties on critical national discourse.
For instance, John Jinapor is the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy while Abu Jinapor is a former deputy Chief of Staff and the current minister of Land and Natural Resources.
John is four years older than Abu. They are paternal half-siblings, or they share the same father but different mothers.
2 Ala Adjetey and son, Larry Adjetey
The venerated late former Speaker of Parliament, Peter Ala Adjetey, is a known NPP stalwart but not so much is known about his son, Accra-based Legal practitioner, Larry Adjetey.
It is curious that the first son of the late Ala Adjetey, a former NPP Chairman, will become a key member of the NDC. In 2009, Larry was rumoured as one of the potential candidates for the NDC's national chair contest.
3. Kojo Yankah and Kwesi Yankah
Prof Kojo Yankah (NDC) and his younger brother Prof Kwesi Yankah (NPP) have served their parties at the highest levels.
Kojo Yankah was a member of the late Jerry John Rawlings' PNDC regime but after the return of democracy in Ghana in 1992, he stood for parliamentary elections for the Agona East constituency on the ticket of the NDC and won. He was also a minister of state.
His brother Kwesi Yankah is an academic and educationist. He is a known member of the NPP and in 2017 he was appointed by the Nana Akufo-Addo administration to be Education Minister in charge of tertiary education.
4. Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa and his uncle Sam Okudzeto
Samuel Awuku Okudzeto, an experienced lawyer, is currently a member of the Council of State, while his nephew Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is NDC MP for North Tongu.
The Okudzetos have a long history with the NPP. It is rumoured that Okudzeto Ablakwa himself was staunch NPP during his student days before switching to the NDC.
5. Osafo Maafo and Kumah Adjei Maafo
Former senior minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo is a stalwart of the NPP who served in the administrations of John Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo.
His brother, Kumah Adjei Maafo is also a successful member of the NDC.
6. Samira Bawumia (nee Ramadan) and her family
The wife of the vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Samira Bawumia, comes from a family with an interesting political background.
Now a member of the NPP because of her ties to the current vice president, Samira's dad, Ahmed Ramadan, is a member of the People's National Convention (PNC) but was appointed in 2017 by Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Samira's brother Abu Ramadan is a known political activist and a member of the NDC.
7. Otiko Djaba and Bawa Mogtari
Former Gender Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba is a known member of the NPP but her uterine sister Joyce Bawah Mogtari is a member of the NDC, they share the same mother but have different dads.
Bawa Mogtari is a lawyer and currently the special aide to NDC flagbearer and former president, John Dramani Mahama.
8. Boniface Abubakar Saddique and Baba Kamara
Boniface Abubakar Saddique is a member of the NPP and former minister for Zongo and Inner City Development.
But his elder brother, Baba Kamara, is a staunch NDC and a national security expert.
The 4 women who could be the next First Lady of Ghana
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh previously compiled a list of the potential First Ladies after the 2024 election.
In 2024, Ghanaians will also elect a new president to run the affairs of the country for the next four years.
But in choosing the president, Ghanaians are also choosing their First Lady.
YEN.com.gh presented short bios of five likely women who can replace Rebecca Akufo-Addo as First Lady in the previous story.
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