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Opinions of Thursday, 25 October 2018

Columnist: Osumanu Abubakar

Bawumia doesn't respect the sanctity of the office he occupies

In every country, people form long and meandering queques to vote for leaders in whom they repose trust, to come and serve their interest, aspirations and needs. Once they are elected, they are estopped from making unnecessary propaganda which serve no meaningful purpose.

Unfortunately in our jurisdiction, we have a Vice President in Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who has reduced the high office of the Vice President into an activity which has become a preserve for 'loose talkers'.

You have a Vice President who uses every serious platform to make tangential and unnecessary comments unworthy of a Vice President. You have a Vice President who uses every opportunity to attack the former President, John Mahama unprovoked.

As part of his litany of unnecessary comments against the former President, John Mahama, Dr. Bawumia teasingly quizzed H.E JDM to mention one "Social Intervention Programme' he implemented under his administration. He asked with the notion that JDM has none to mention.

Such a question could only come from Dr. Bawumia either to achieve a mischievous effect or as a result of a complete misunderstanding of the English language. If the answer lies in the former, then I wouldn't waste time, but if it lies in the latter, then I want to define "Social Intervention Programme" in the context of Dr. Bawumia's convoluted idea of the subject.

Social Intervention Programs are activities by government, social agencies and volunteers designed to change and improve the social situation of individuals, groups and communities, strengthen social bonds and encourage internalization of social control.

Now look at this, "Social Protection is a range of actions carried out by the state and other parties in response to vulnerability and poverty which seeks to guarantee relief from destitution for the vulnerable in society. Social Protection consists of access to basic essential health care for all, with particular attention to maternal health, minimum income security to access the basic needs of life for children, minimum income security for people in working age and minimum income security for older persons." National Social Protection Policy to address poverty, social inequalities and other vulnerabilities.

This topic compelled me to read more and I chanced on an article featuring Madam Otiko Djaba and here is an excerpt, "She disclosed that a pilot program, the Ghana Support for Rural Income Generation, targeted at poor persons and funded by the Japan Social Development, was rolled out in January 2015 and expected to end in May 2018, was part of government’s effort to embark on productive inclusive initiatives, aimed at improving the incomes of extreme poor households in targeted districts. The programme, she said, aimed to support the extremely poor households in targeted districts by supporting them to manage their farms and non-farm activities more productively and sustainably. And in 2013, a study to rationalize social protection provision and spending in Ghana recommended that interventions for the extreme poor should be prioritized and the national effort guided by key social protection programmes."

let’s sustain social intervention programmes - Gender Minister

"She explained that all the strategic social interventions have helped the country to be one of the few countries to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by the year 2015." Otiko touts Ghana's social intervention policies at UN.

"This thus called for the development of a policy, an idea which was given further impetus when cabinet, in June 2014, approved the strategic, oversight and monitoring roles of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and mandated the Ministry to lead the development of a National Policy on Social Protection." NATIONAL SOCIAL PROTECTION POLICY TO ADDRESS POVERTY, SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND OTHER VULNERABILITIES.

Daily Graphic (2011) "Among all social intervention initiatives in the country, only the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) better reaches the people that they were set up to cater for, a study by the World Bank Country Officer has revealed. The Ghana Improving Targeting of Social Programmes Report 2010 indicated that out of the several social intervention programmes such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Youth Employment Scheme and their poverty related schemes, only LEAP covered more than 50 per cent of its targets, the poor."

If for nothing at all, the NDC built universities, Health centers, provision of free uniforms, exercise books, sandals, SHS blocks inter alia.
With all these, suffice it to say that it is undoubtedly clear that Dr. Bawumia doesn't know the scope of "Social Intervention Programme", hence his teaser question.

If you look at the definitions of "Social Intervention Programme" and all the comments made by no mean a person than the former Gender Minister as undertaken by the Mahama administration, then you are tempted to believe that Dr. Bawumia is not a serious Vice President, but a man who simply talks 'by heart'.
I leave it here.
Thank you.

By: Osumanu Abubakar
0242782515

References
1. http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/media-center/features/2863-national-social-protection-policy-to-address-poverty-social-inequalities-and-other-vulnerabilities

2. http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/media-center/news/3554-let-s-sustain-social-intervention-programmes-gender-minister

3. https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2018/january-30th/otiko-touts-ghanas-social-intervention-policies-at-un.php

4. https://www.modernghana.com/news/331028/social-interventions-programmes-fail-to-reach-targets.html