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Opinions of Friday, 11 November 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

I smell some double standards here

It reads and sounds like a slapstick comedy. I mean, this creation and distribution of the spoils of political gifts purchased with the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money which members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) think it is their inalienable right to give in exchange for votes but, somehow, incumbent parliamentarians of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have no right, whatsoever, to do.

This is the case of the Weija-Gbawe Constituency where the incumbent NPP-MP, Ms. Rosemond Abrah is reported to have had an ambulance that she purchased for the Ga-South Municipal Hospital with the Common Fund was roundly rejected because an NDC parliamentary candidate vying for Ms. Abrah’s seat was reported to have earlier on purchased an ambulance for the same hospital.

What is fascinating about this story is the fact that the Common Fund, so-called, is taxpayer money placed at the disposal of the parliamentary incumbent to be used for development projects in her constituency. And so, perhaps, what we need to be asking is where Ms. Obuobia Darko-Opoku came by the funds which the NDC parliamentary candidate used to preempt the “gift” of the incumbent that she is hell-bent on unseating. Merely riposting that such funding came from party headquarters, or even the Flagstaff House, would not cut it. More so because we are given to believe that Ms. Abrah’s auto purchase had been specifically requested by the Ga-South Municipal Hospital authorities (See “Hospital ‘Rejects’ NPP’s Ambulance Donation” 3News.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/29/16).

Besides, we further learn that the hospital in question serves three constituencies, which means that they need all the ambulances they can get in order to effectively serve their catchment/service area, as it were. Now, nobody requires a college degree to figure out that some local NDC operatives are behind this impasse.

Even more significant to underscore is the fact that the reason given by the hospital authorities for rejecting the donated ambulance is that the vehicle will be spray-painted with the pictures and insignia of the parliamentary incumbent and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the party on whose ticket she was elected to serve her constituents.

In all likelihood, there is a precedent for this practice. I mean, haven’t all of us witnessed our PAYOLA LAUREATE traipse the length and breadth of the country distributing publicly funded gifts ranging from outboard motors to mugs with his image and that of the ruling National Democratic Congress?

In other words, we should not allow partisan political interests to determine the nature and quality of services provided to the people, especially where such services border on life-and-death decisions. And the sooner this impasse gets resolved, the better it would redound to the benefit of all the citizens in the three constituencies served by the Ga-South Municipal Hospital

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs