Opinion: John Mahama Needs a Reality Check – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

By now, former President John Dramani Mahama ought to have realized that no levelheaded Ghanaian citizen is being fooled by his consistently and insistently desperate attempt to vacuously and fatuously malign President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s all-too-salutary and progressive fee-free Senior High School policy initiative. Addressing one of the so-called series of National Democratic Congress-sponsored Unity Walk rallies at Somanya, in Nana Akufo-Addo’s electoral stronghold of the Eastern Region just this past Saturday, February 24, the former President was reported to have selfishly claimed that the implementation of the fee-free SHS policy initiative was stalling other equally significant government projects in the country. Among such projects, Mr. Mahama reportedly named the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) – (See “NPP[sic] Biggest Headache Is Funding for Free SHS – Mahama” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 2/24/18).

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No such wild allegation could be more absurd, in view of the incontrovertible fact that during the tenure of the Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), even in the complete absence of a fee-free Senior High School policy initiative, the Mahama government could not fund the Kufuor-initiated National Health Insurance Scheme. Indeed, by January 9, or thereabouts, when Nana Akufo-Addo officially assumed the democratic reins of governance, the National Health Insurance Scheme was effectively in a coma and had almost completely ground to a halt. It would take Nana Akufo-Addo’s immediate payment of at least half of the operating cost of the NHIS, with a promise to settle the other half within six months, to get our healthcare providers, once again, accepting the hitherto decidedly useless NHIS cards.

And so maybe what the former Rawlings’ communications minister and NDC-MP for Gonja-West, in the Northern Region, ought to be doing right now is to be explaining to his captive audience of “Unity Walkers” precisely how it came about that even, without a fee-free Senior High School policy initiative, Mr. Mahama’s National Democratic Congress’ government could not fund the New Patriotic Party-initiated National Health Insurance Scheme. As well, Mr. Mahama needs to explain why even with the summary withdrawal by his government of the longstanding tradition of the payment of stipends to our nurse- and teacher-trainees, his government could still not fund the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Of course, those of us avid students and scholars of Ghanaian politics who have been studiously following his unremarkable and scandal-wracked political career, know the answer to the woeful inability of Mr. Mahama and his former arch-lieutenant, former Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, also a former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, to run an efficient healthcare system for the country, even without the humongous burden, albeit all-too-salutary and progressive, implementation of a fee-free Senior High School policy initiative. Indeed, Justice Jones Dotse could not have put it any better or more eloquently, when the Associate Justice of the Ghana Supreme Court poignantly characterized the rag-tag Mahama regime as one that was completely composed of thoroughgoing thieves and robber-barons who, all they knew how to do was to “Create, Loot and Share” the collective fiscal resources of the country among themselves.

The fact of the matter is that even if the fiscal resources of the country are totally drained by President Akufo-Addo’s fee-free SHS policy initiative, it would still be worthwhile, because a fee-free policy initiative is an invaluable  investment in the uplift and destiny of our children and grandchildren, the future leaders and professionals and technocrats of this country. Even assuming, hypothetically, that Nana Akufo-Addo’s fee-free SHS policy initiative were a spur-of-the-moment or an ad-hoc program devoid of any well-established guidelines, the fact still remains that even with a well-planned and “well-guided” policy promise of the establishment of some 200 physical plant facilities for Senior High Schools, the Mahama regime, in the four-and-half years that it occupied the Flagstaff House, was only able to build about 20-percent or well under 40 school buildings.

Under Nana Akufo-Addo’s progressive education policy initiative, at least 90,000 talented young men and women, who would have been literally driven into our streets as panhandlers and commercial-sex workers, without any viable or employable skills, had the Mahama Posse won reelection, at least now have the opportunity to prepare themselves for more meaningful and productive lives. If, indeed, the Akufo-Addo Administration is having a hard time meeting its budgetary obligations, this is precisely because in the roads and highways sector alone, Mr. Mahama bequeathed Nana Akufo-Addo a humongous debt in excess of GHȻ 20 Billion in arrears owed our diligent road contractors. Then, of course, there is also the scandalous budgetary bloating of some GHȻ 5.4 Billion to deal with, according to Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo.

And so one can pretty much appreciate the fact that Cash-and-Carry Socialists like Messrs. Mahama and Amissah-Arthur would childishly resort to marching and screaming lies and half-truths around the country on a monthly basis, in a bid to deviously courting the sympathy of the all-too-savvy Ghanaian voter and taxpayer in order to be allowed to return to the Flagstaff House and do what the Mahama Posse knows how to do best, rob the Ghanaian taxpayer silly and raw. Fat chance, “Ganger Boy!”

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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