Feature Article of Monday, 5 March 2012
Columnist: Poku, Kwadwo (NY)
Kufuor's Missed Opportunity, A Retrospective Look At Ghana@50 Profligacy
By Kwadwo Poku
It's been five years since Kufuor presided over the 50th anniversary celebrations of our Independence, a celebration that took a whole year to enjoy and about 150 million dollars of wasteful spending. Folks I know it's been 5 yrs, and I like and respect Kufuor very much but whenever 6th March approaches, the opportunity squandered by his administration rears its dastardly head and makes me weep for our dear nation as I relate it to current happenings.
You don't have to walk on water to know of the deficiencies in our healthcare institutions and the inadequacies in our education systems, so when one takes a retrospective look towards a prospective prism and extrapolates it to a logical conclusion concerning the financial orgy during the Ghana@50 year long celebrations, Kufuor should not wonder why the Mo Ibrahim Presidential Award eluded him.
Like I alluded earlier, about $150 million was earmarked for the celebrations, which I believe could have served as supplements to our education and healthcare systems. Let's assume $100 million was spent in building 10 state of the art health centers ( 1 for every region at a cost of $10 million each ) and named them Anniversary Health Centers, then the remaining $50 million on 10 Under Graduate Community Universities ( 1 for every region as well, at a cost of $5 million each ) and named them Anniversary Community Universities. Wouldn't these have been a sweet smelling aroma on Kufuor's legacy whiles serving as a productive mechanism for the nation?
Folks let me be clear, I'm not in any way, shape, manner or form insinuating that kufuor and his cohorts embezzled funds in this regard, but in a nuts shell what I mean is that Kufuor could have forgo the anniversary celebrations (after all, what were the achievements since March 6, 1957) and use the money on pressing needs for the nation instead. But no, he was concerned about the international accolades so much so that the vicissitudes of the impoverished Ghanaian never came to mind.
Before anyone dares to defend him, please ask how beneficial were the wasteful celebrations to our nation and then contrast that to the perpetual benefits of the supplemental institutions I pointed out earlier. As we celebrate our nations independence, the missed opportunity comes to mind and I wish I could go toe to toe with Kufour and tell him to take an introspection within, by looking back in retrospect and then tell him it was for this financial orgy he unwittingly championed that cost him the Mo Ibrahim Presidential Award.
Kwadwo Poku NY