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Opinions of Monday, 15 May 2017

Columnist: Casmel Ibrahim

A President’s love for mothers

“If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try, again.” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s reference to the above over-stated quotation contained in his tribute to his mother Mrs. Adeline Akufo-Addo when she passed on to glory is more profound today than ever.

Obviously, President Akufo-Addo has not been the only beneficiary of this deep moral. He therefore was right; again, when still eulogizing his mother, he said “with her passing, a most significant chapter has been closed not only in my own life, but indeed, in our dear motherland, Ghana.”

President Akufo-Addo idolizes mothers. He has been doctrinaire with this ideology since his public life came under the spotlight. A quick recount of his illustrious days as a lawyer can bear ample testimony of his huge bias for mothers.

Despite being one of the very best lawyers around in his practice days, Akufo-Addo and Prempeh Chambers handled a significant number of Pro-bono cases for women and mothers whose basic rights were being trampled upon or needed justice on a case.

Throughout his trajectory in frontline politics, President Akufo-Addo has shown devout commitment to the cause of women and mothers so much so that it is undeniably safe to say this unbridled affinity best exemplifies former US President Wilson Woodrow’s Mother’s Day declaration as a day set aside to publicly express our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.

Barely 100days ago, into his administration as President, Nana Addo has honoured women and mothers with distinguished positions in his government. For the first time in Ghana’s history, the Chief of Staff is a woman and a mother of four children. Ambassador Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari is also the first female Secretary to the cabinet.

Very recently, 36 mothers have been named for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive positions under President Akufo-Addo. A feat never achieved by any government ever since Ghana veered onto the path of democracy.

In every other sphere of human endeavour, Ghanaian mothers continue to make remarkable strides. President Nana Akufo-Addo has resolutely held the view that the mothers who toil each day should be encouraged and supported.

Thus, since the visionary NPP government introduced the free maternal healthcare policy under the National Health Insurance Scheme, cases of maternal mortality has seen a sharp decline. The shameful days when pregnant mothers had to be chained to hospital beds or be made to pass cold nights on bare floors and concrete slabs with their babies due to inability to pay fees have ceased completely.

The failure therefore of the past NDC government to as a matter of urgency prioritize the needs and welfare of mothers by paying healthcare providers for the care they have given to mothers subsequently led to the withdrawal of their services. A deliberate neglect if when quantified will leave the Ghanaian mother cringing and wailing in a frustrated effort to weep her womb out.

A government that believes paying dubious judgment debts deserves more attention than the health of mothers from whom posterity emanates should never be taken serious in any political dispensation.

Very early into the Akufo –Addo presidency, the First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo on February 15, showed deep motherly love when she cut the sod for the construction of a 52 bed hostel facility for Child Cancer Patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Obviously, this is a welcome respite for the mothers of these children.

Additionally, it took only a day of hardwork and concerted effort by Auntie Rebecca to raise GhC 7.7m to save mothers and babies upon the construction of a new maternity block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

Clearly, the Akufo-Addo led government has demonstrated the NPP government’s love for issues concerning mothers and motherhood, a trait not only intrinsic but evidently characterized in his several years of public service.

This year’s Mothers Day is one of contentment and hope for all mothers. Contentment in the sense that we now have a “mother” leader in President Akufo-Addo, Hope in the sense that the prospects of mothers and children are brighter more than ever today.