Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije is a Ghanaian politician and former Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (Accra Mayor: 2009-2016).
Currently a Member of Parliament for Ablekum South constituency, Okoe Vanderpuije has indicated interest in bearing the flag of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the 2020 presidential race.
Posters substantiating his presidential aspiration were spotted a few days ago, first on social media and then on the streets of Ablekum South and other places in town.
Meanwhile, some prominent members of the National Democratic Congress are insisting that the immediate past president, John Dramani Mahama is the party’s choice for the 2020 presidential polls.
Mr. Vanderpuije has also said he will throw his weight behind John Mahama if he decides to bear the NDC flag come 2020. Anyway, the party is yet to release their nomination list for the 2020 presidential primary elections.
It has also not been ascertained if the “Vanderpuije for President” posters came from Mr. Vanderpuije himself. As far as we can tell, it could be a gesture from loyalists.
However, considering the singular fact that the former AMA CEO has indicated interest in the country’s highest political office, you certainly would love to know more about him. That’s exactly why we bring you these 7 Buzz Facts about the Ghanaian politician. Read on…
1. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije Is of Dutch Descent
It has been proven from his Dutch surname that, Okoe who was born on the 4th of November, 1955 in Jamestown, is a descendant of the “Vanderpuijes” who originally came from Sint-Maartensdijk on the former island of Tholen in the Netherlands. His ancestor Jacobus van der Puije was Governor of the Dutch Gold Coast in 1780.
2. He Is of Double Royal Lineage
Aside from being of Dutch descent, Alfred Vanderpuije is also of a double royal lineage – Otublohum and Edina. He is the eldest son of the late Otublohum Mantse, Nii Kpakpo Oti III, and grandson of the late Nana Conduah of Edina.
To certify his royal status in the Edina Traditional Area, he was given the stool name Nana Kofi Ababio III.
3. He Won Best Mayor of Africa
On 30th April 2015, Oko Vanderpuije won the inaugural edition of the prestigious President Jose Eduardo dos Santos African Best Mayor Award. The then Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive won the large cities category award which had its focus on 7 major areas of sanitation, education, community upgrading, transportation, economic empowerment, and beautification.
He beat mayors of other prominent African cities such as South Africa’s Cape Town and Senegal’s Dakar, to grab the enviable title given out at the Second Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum held in Luanda, Angola.
The African Best Mayor Awards programme recognizes, celebrates and rewards city leaders who display exemplary qualities in leadership and vision, innovative thinking, management capabilities and integrity.
4. Okoe Is a Humble Politician
Contrary to what politicians are commonly known for, Dr. Vanderpuije is humble. His outstanding humility was publicly displayed following a seeming face-off he had with former president Jerry John Rawlings on 5th January 2017, at the Parliament House during the outgoing president, John Mahama’s final state of the nation address.
JJ Rawlings ahead of the address gave Vanderpuije an embarrassing snub – an action that is sure to annoy anybody, except a very humble personality. Okoe Vanderpuije proved himself to be really humble as he was spotted after the address, humbly explaining things out to Papa J and making amends with him.
But then, his humility has exposed him to criticisms as he is never known to engage in a war of words with his critics like other politicians.
5. He Is Selfless – He Can Do Anything for the Masses!
Okoe Vanderpuije is that politician that will go out of his way to please the ordinary people. This is not a mere assumption, the former Accra Mayor has really proved his worth as a leader. When he was vying for the Ablekuma South Parliamentary seat, he was spotted on several occasions, helping ordinary Ghanaians out with their household chores – ranging from cooking to styling their hair!
6. He Is Tough, With Unique Leadership Qualities
Despite being a perfect gentleman, Dr. Vanderpuije is also a very tough person. Speaking in an interview with The Mirror back in 2009, Vanderpuije asserted: “I am tough, very tough; the typical Accra boy born at British Accra [i.e, James Town].”
With a good mixture of toughness and experience, Okoe Vanderpuije blends into a person with outstanding leadership qualities. Owing to his skills and experience, Vanderpuije has held the following leadership positions:
- President of the World Alliance of Mayors, he was the first African to occupy the position.
- Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, South Carolina, and Chicago Chapters.
- Founding member of the North American Coordinating Council of the NDC.
- Inter-Chapter Co-ordinator of the NDC North American Coordinating Council.
7. He wants to be Buried with His Beard
Okoe Vanderpuije who continually spots full grown beard, once revealed in an interview that he desires to go to his final resting place after his death with his beards unshaven. He is also said to have given his family stern instructions on that.
Mr. Vanderpuije is a widower with two daughters, Mildred and Alfreda. He is a Christian and an active member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.