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Opinions of Friday, 6 December 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Dr. Stephen Opuni must be celebrated!

When I was young, doing things the right way was the way I felt it should be. I was very straightforward and tactless in the way I do things. I strongly believe that things must not only be done in the right way, it must be done in an honest manner. Surprisingly, I realized that my way of doing things was rather winning me enemies instead of friends. My bosses whom I felt should appreciate the honest way I was doing things where rather hating and enjoying the company of my crooked colleagues at work. It was something I had to struggle with when I was growing up and it kind of seared my conscience.

As an adult, I now realized that we are living in a twisted and crooked generation where evil is celebrated and good is spurned on. That explains why Dr. Stephen Opuni of the Food and Drugs Authority is being vilified instead of being celebrated. This is a man who has singlehanded fought of the evil business dealings of crooks and wicked people who are desperate to be rich at the expense of the lives of Ghanaians. It beats my mind why anybody, much more Parliamentary Select Committee on Health will subscribe to the distribution of fake drugs in the country and vilify Dr. Opuni for doing his job. It only tells you one thing: Our elected representatives don’t give a hoot about the lives of the people they claim to represent!

I have had an experience with fake malaria drugs I took some time back. Instead of the drugs curing my malaria sickness, it rather led to serious skin rashes that landed me in the hospital. Fake drugs, unlike fake watches, phones, cloths, wigs or others can kill and do kill! How can any human being that claims to love God import drugs that have never undergone clinical trials? I do not understand. Is the Blackman that stupid? The drugs were imported from India, had never undergone any clinical trials and human beings were going to be used as Guinea Pigs! What more can be serious as this?

Why were the drugs not tested on Indians before being shipped to Ghana? Is it because we are blacks so our lives don’t matter? Will any of you condemning Dr. Opuni accept to be used as Guinea Pigs in testing drugs from India? What was going through the head of that greedy man Tobinco when he brought the drugs in, refused to test them and distributed it all over Ghana to be administered to children as guinea pigs? Can greed take people to this level? Mr. Ato Tobin of Tobinco is a greedy man who should be hanged! He is a potential mass murderer who deserves no mercy! He is a shady man who made his money from greed and the blood of innocent children! Only God knows how many children have perished from consuming his fake drugs from India!

I am bitterly disappointed in government institutions like the Ministry of Health and the Parliamentary Select Committee on health. It was such a wonder seeing these two institutions that should be protecting the lives of Ghanaians desperately fighting in the corner of Tobinco. They, instead of commending Dr. Stephen Opuni for his patriotic acts rather condemned and vilified him. The MOH in particular went on an overdrive and desperately tried to clip the wings of Dr. Stephen Opuni. Thank God Dr. Opuni was made of steel so was not moved with the threats from MOH. The Parliamentary Select Committee on Health also jumped into the fray and issued one of the most useless, unintelligent and stupid press statement ever released in Ghana. They asked the FDA to grant a 90 days amnesty to pharmaceutical companies to distributed their fake drugs and develop a guideline for the prevention of it in future! Can you believe this? 90 days free reign of fake drugs and 90 days of death to innocent Ghanaians! And we call these people our MPs?

President Mahama disappointed us all when he reassigned Dr. Opuni to Cocobod instead of allowing this patriotic man to do his duty. Can we infer from the changes made that our President was not happy with the good job Dr. Opuni was doing at the FDA? Did our President bow to pressure from big businesses and ‘drug’ Lords to remove Dr. Opuni and restore the status quo? If the N.D.C had the interest of Ghanaians at heart, there was no way Dr. Opuni would have been removed! But they are politicians and to them what matters to them is money and not the lives of the people they have sworn to protect.

I am commending Dr. Opuni that his selfless act at the FDA will never be forgotten by Ghanaians. Despite what people will say, true Ghanaians will forever be grateful to him for protecting their lives. He fought a good fight, a fight against all odds and he triumphed. We will celebrate Dr. Opuni because he is worthy of being celebrated!

kpakpogh@yahoo.com