22-year-old aspiring NPP candidate, Francisca Oteng-Mensah, says God has blessed his dad with a lot of money.
Francisca Oteng-Mensah, the 22-year-old who last Saturday got an overwhelming endorsement by delegates to contest as New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate in the Kwabre East constituency in 2016, has explained that she won because she ran a mature campaign.
“I focused on delivering my message and it paid off. My strategy was that any time I had the platform, I went straight to the point and told them what I wanted to do. I told them why they should give me that chance rather than going there to insult other candidates," she told the Daily Guide Newspaper.
Should she win the Kwabre East seat in 2016, Ms Oteng-Mensah, who turned 22 on February 14, 2015, could become the youngest parliamentarian in Ghana. Her constituency is a ‘safe’ seat for the NPP.
She beat the incumbent MP, Kofi Frempong, who has been in Parliament since 2004. The NPP organised the primaries last Saturday to elect parliamentary candidates in 247 constituencies for the 2016 elections.
She won the Kwabre East constituency primary with 331 votes, as against the 189 votes garnered by the incumbent MP. The other candidates, Lawyer Osei Poku and K. Adjei- Sefa, got 202 and 33 votes respectively.
Ms Oteng-Mensah’s victory has attracted both commendations and criticisms with regard to her age and the fact that she was still a Law student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
Some have questioned how she will combine her education and duties as a parliamentarian.
Others have argued she won because her father, Dr Kwaku Oteng, owner of Kumasi-based Angel Group of Companies, sponsored her campaign.
Dr Oteng owns the Kumasi-based Angel Group of Companies that operates a number of properties including Angel Herbal, Angel FM, Angel TV and Angel Educational Complex among a host of other holdings.
He was said to have provided the financial muscle to his daughter’s campaign.
Responding to the criticisms on Accra-based Oman FM Monday morning, Ms Oteng-Mensah admitted that her father sponsored her campaign but said the injection was a tiny fraction of the general output that led to her victory.
“Yes, God has blessed my dad with money; and yes he sponsored me. He helped our campaign with flyers, posters and a whole lot but that wasn’t the major determining factor for my win. We did a lot of work; we worked for it. The truth is that we had a convincing message and organised a mature campaign.
“Most of the people believed in the message and felt I acted mature and I think that was what motivated them to vote for me.
“24 hours after the election, I still could not believe I had won and that was like a dream to me. I’m still surprised and I’m still shocked. I’m still asking myself, ‘there were four aspirants and why me?’”
With regard to her education, she explained that by the time she would be going to Parliament in January 2017, if she wins the parliamentary elections, she would be left with five months to complete her LLB programme at KNUST.
“Either I would seek for a transfer or I’d defer the programme,” she revealed.
She explained that education has no end and that there was no point concluding that one would want to finish with all the education one wanted to attain before embarking on a venture.
“You can’t decide to wait when an opportunity is available; you can do something along side education. There are so many politicians who are still in school; some are even schooling outside Ghana.
“I have decided to dedicate myself and commitment to the youth and that is what I’m doing,” she added