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Opinions of Thursday, 28 May 2020

Columnist: Kwadwo Tufuor

Barbara Asher Ayisi must be commended, not condemned

Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Barbara Asher Ayisi Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Barbara Asher Ayisi

The Deputy Minister, Barbara Asher's donation for the renovation of a gymnasium at Abura in her Constituency was a noble gesture that must be commended and not condemned.

Please read her speech below and judge for yourself.

“First and foremost, we thank God. I also thank you all who have gathered here. I am so glad that we have all met here.

The reason I am thanking you is that you have been very patient with me. I was here just before the 2016 Elections and I mentioned to you that I am interested in the keep fit business.

Staying fit enables us to fight off infections including the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of infections decreases through staying fit and healthy.

Therefore it is important that the youth become engaged in such activities. But you know my job is filled with pressure.

The pressure, notwithstanding, everyone of you has a place in my heart. I made a pledge to you and I am determined to redeem it. Every drop in the bucket adds up.I am here to donate to help refurbish this facility.

Let us use the donation wisely and also for the intended purpose so that when others see the ongoing improvement, they will be encouraged to contribute their widows mite to help complete the project.

I desire to have this facility upgraded to a Health Centre status and not just a place for lifting weights.

If we are able to do this, we can invite doctors to come here and conduct health screening exercises which will benefit us all.

Moreover, we can invite nurses here to check our temperatures to determine our COVID-19 status.

God bless us all. Thank you so much.”

***There was a big applause after her speech. She then came back to start Part 2 of the meeting.

“You who are young today will be filling our shoes in the future. Barbara will not be in public office forever.

When I am old and weak, you may reciprocate my gesture. In this life, we never know where our help will come from. I am a people-centered politician.

But how much longer am I going to be holding public office? Therefore my interest is in building relationships. Let’s keep the relationships.

Please ask God to open doors for me so that I may come back and help you to also move forward.

If I am your Member of Parliament today, know and understand that you are also eligible for a status to upgrade. You just have to believe in God.

Poverty and hunger are enemies of mankind. The two together can prompt you to do things that you would otherwise not do.

So let us pray that poverty and hunger shall not be our portion. Let us pray that God will make us Presidents, Ministers, and great sportsmen. My only problem with you is the absence of female participants. I am a feminist. We need to include and encourage our women. I love sports. Every couple of weeks I will stop by to check on you. I hereby present to you an amount of Gh¢ 10,000 (which covers the total amount of my previous pledge).”

The sportsmen received the cash in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Now let discerning Ghanaians judge between Hon. Barbara Asher Ayisi’s encouraging words to her Constituents/fulfilling a political campaign promise, and the lies of her political detractors who concluded that her gesture was tantamount to bribing the macho men.