Politics of Monday, 26 November 2012
Deputy Campaign Coordinator for the President, Dr. Omane Boamah has stated that some NPP Members of Parliament applied to government to include schools in their constituencies in the list of free laptop distribution.
Though he would not give names because he claims "it is not important”, he told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story students from those areas benefited from the project, and wondered why the NPP’s presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo would discredit the move.
Addressing students at the University of Cape Coast, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the project could best be described as one laptop per NDC supporter.
“We have been told about thousands of laptops being distributed all over Ghana. It turns out that boys’ names are found to be in girls’ schools list whilst one institution has come out to say that none of the names against their school list belongs to any enrolled student. On the university campuses at least it would appear the distribution of the laptops has its proper name- one laptop per NDC supporter,” Nana Addo stated.
But Dr Omane Boamah in the interview retorted that claim saying the comments were borne out of desperation to win power “at all cost”.
He said since some of the beneficiaries are coming from areas with NPP MPs, he asked if Nana Addo would equally describe those NPP MPs of engaging in political gimmick?
“If he finds out that some of these Members of Parliament are even from his own party, the New Patriotic Party, will be ready to withdraw his statement and apologize not just to government but to his own MPs and also to the students, the schools that have been benefiting from these laptops?”
He maintained that government is committed to bridging the digital gap.
Dr Omane Boamah, who is also the Deputy Minister Sports stated that some inmates at the Borstal Institute for juveniles now the Senior Correctional Centre under the Ghana Prisons Service also benefited from the move, and asked if Nana Addo will describe the inmates as NDC supporters.
“We should raise the political discourse higher than the level Nana Addo is taking this political discourse. It begins with all=die-be-die and the desperation contains and he’s taken it to every realm. It is not helping this country… we should be discussing how well we can bridge the digital divide and not defacing the political discourse like he is doing.”
The PRO of Pentecost University Emmanuel Kyei had challenged government’s claim as published in the Times Newspaper that students of the school benefitted from the project.
But Dr Boamah explained there was a mistake with the list published, noting that the school’s list was swapped with that of the Presbyterian University.
The anomaly, he said has already been explained by a release from the Ministry of Information, adding that failure of the PRO to crosscheck before commenting on it amounts to the “magnificent manifestation” of Nana Addo’s desperation.
He warned that Nana Addo’s “unquenchable thirst for power” will deface the political discourse in the country.
However, a former Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Madam Elizabeth Ohene, claimed Nana Addo’s comment on the laptop was based on what the party was told by the students themselves.
Asked if what the students said was evidential enough, she asked, “What kind of evidence do to you want apart from the students who are on campus with those who are being given the laptops, what other evidence do you want?”
She nevertheless maintained that it is a good idea to make all students computer literates, but not a good idea to use state money to buy laptops for those who support a particular party.