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Opinions of Thursday, 11 August 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

But uncle, didn’t you reject the offer of free SHS?

Approximately four months ago, my maternal uncle approached me for some help towards the payment of his children school fees. But upon a carefully considered deliberation, I rather decided to inject any such funds into my younger sister’s business than paying for my uncle’s children school fees.

In fact, my decision was predicated on the fact that my maternal uncle wilfully rejected Nana Addo’s 2012 free SHS campaign message and bizarrely went ahead and voted against such an expedient policy.

As a matter of fact, I never thought I violated any accepted moral standards for turning down my uncle’s passionate appeal for help to pay for his children school fees.

Nevertheless, my disgruntled uncle reported me to my mother for turning my back on his unceremonious fund raising appeal towards the payment of his children school fees.

So, in her attempt to resolve the simmering dissonance between my uncle and me, my mother called a round table meeting.

It was during the meeting that I informed my mother that my decision was based on the fact that her brother needlessly refused to accept the offer of free SHS by Nana Addo during the 2012 electioneering campaign.

Well, but your uncle has never voted for NPP, my mother retorted.

Oh, so even if NPP came up with an advantageous policy that could be beneficial to him, he must still turn his back on such a policy because of unbridled devoted attachment? I quizzed.

I proceeded: where is the justification for your brother to turn down such a handsome offer of free ‘SHS?’

My uncle then responded: but where was the evidence that NPP was going to implement the free SHS policy?

You don’t have to look far for the evidence uncle, I responded.

I continued: didn’t the previous NPP government deliver on its campaign promises by introducing social interventions such as the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA, and many other social interventions?

Well, my nephew, I think you are making sense but there is nothing we could do over the spilt milk, my uncle responded.

You are right to some extent uncle, but we could put it right going forward, I retorted.

For we should not and must not ever vote on narrow party lines, but we must rather vote according to campaign messages, competence, experience, ability, skills, knowledge and the integrity of the candidates.

Well, my son, your uncle has obviously simmered down and shown remorse, so go ahead and pay for his children school fees, my mother proposed.

It is too late mum; I would not be able to pay for his children school fees as I have other equally important responsibilities, I replied.

I nonetheless continued by beseeching all and sundry to embrace Nana Addo’s 2016 campaign message of one district one factory.

I maintained that if they refused to accept Nana Addo’s advantageous policy of one district one factory on this occasion, I would not entertain any future appeals for financial assistance from anyone.

Gratifyingly, both my uncle and my mother promised wholeheartedly to scrutinise future campaign messages of all political parties before settling on their preferred candidate or party.

Indeed, I was over the moon because I managed to bring my mother and my uncle from darkness into the light.

I must also admit, I do not regret for a minute for refusing to pay for my maternal uncle’s children school fees.

Tell me, would you pay for school fees of children whose father had turned down an offer of free SHS?