Feature Article of Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

“Vote NPP for Quality-of-Life Improvement!” Says Bagbin

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I hope Nana Akufo-Addo did not oblige Mr. Alban Sumana Bagbin’s rather gratuitous and shameless demand for apology over a remark that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate is alleged to have erroneously attributed to the Health Minister during the first presidential debate in Tamale a little while ago (See “Bagbin Replies Nana Addo, Demands Apology” MyJoyOnline.com 11/5/12).

Now, let’s get to the brass-tacks, as it were: What Nana Akufo-Addo was simply highlighting for the benefit of all well-meaning Ghanaian voters is the fact that Mr. Bagbin belongs to a nation-wrecking political party and a cynical ideological camp called “Cash-and-Carry” that irreligiously believes in the Social Darwinian policy of “Survival of the Fittest” and has absolutely no business, whatsoever, pretending to the voting public that, indeed, it was the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and not the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party, that created and implemented the comprehensive National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

And to the preceding extent, Nana Akufo-Addo was epically successful. Mr. Bagbin himself clearly appears to endorse the NPP leader’s no-nonsense observation, when the former NDC Majority Leader in Parliament proudly notes, among others, that “the scheme [which is the veritable brainchild and heroic legacy of the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party] is the source of comfort to well over 10 million of our compatriots nationwide.”

Indeed, it is this inescapable acknowledgment of the resounding success of the Kufuor Health Plan to which Nana Akufo-Addo, once again, opportunely drew the attention of forward-looking Ghanaian voters, to the apparently jittery displeasure and shame of Mr. Bagbin and his naysayer operatives of the National Democratic Congress, that prompted the former Housing Minister to rather laughably ( if also annoyingly to those of us mature enough to know the real history behind the National Health Insurance Scheme) demand his clearly undeserved apology.

Perhaps, Nana Akufo-Addo ought to have riposted by further reminding Ghanaian voters that it was, indeed, under Mr. Bagbin’s indescribably incompetent watch that the STX Housing Scandal, involving the South Koreans, occurred. In sum, the Health Minister has absolutely no track-record of managerial competence that warrants his rather callow and hollow demand for an apology.

Indeed, in the fifth-from-bottom paragraph of his press release demanding an unqualified apology from Nana Akufo-Addo, this is what Mr. Bagbin has to say in vehement praise and defense of the Kufuor-minted National Health Insurance Scheme, and the imperative need for the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party to be promptly and massively returned to power: “No well-meaning Ghanaian should describe the NHIS as ‘collapsing’ when the scheme[,] by all the most critical measures is actually stronger now than before. And the [incontrovertible] evidence lies in the over 10 million of our population who since the NDC won power in 2008, have been voting emphatically for the scheme day-in, day-out.”

And so the fast-graying Nadowli parliamentarian could not help himself from mischievously stealing the spotlight from his inveterate political opponents on the clearly enviable showcase that is our comprehensive National Health Insurance Scheme? How pathetic!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Nov. 25, 2012