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Opinions of Monday, 26 January 2009

Columnist: Afful, Kweku

Kufour has disappointed me (Kufour a daa daa me).

I have always commended the Kufour led government for their major achievements (NHIS, improved infrastructure, National school feeding programme, and enhancing freedom of speech to mention a few). I have also objectively criticised them for their lapses.

I have keenly followed the developments in Ghanaian politics for sometime now and was quiet enthusiastic of the Kufour administration in 2000 for following reasons;

1. I believed they had the best team of experts and professionals at the time to make up the government and bring about the required ‘positive change’ they proposed.

2. I also believed that since most of the key men in the party were already accomplished and somewhat financially sound, they would not be coming into politics to enrich themselves but purely make a name for themselves as the party that helped to alleviate poverty in Ghana.

I remember in 2001, some spare parts traders in Accra deliberately reduced the prices of their spare parts to help reduce transport cost in the nation. People were willing to make genuine sacrifice to put our nation back on track. Those were the days when people hardly complained when the prices of fuel went up about 3-4 times in a year.

However, I become amused at some high profile financial malpractices in the Kufour administration to mention Dr. Anane for instance and how the whole issue did not get anyway but was re-assigned a cabinet position.

Again the number of ministerial appointments under the Kufour administration was very excessive if not unnecessary. It was as though some ministries were deliberately created to appease certain party loyalists.

We all witnessed the amount of cash injected into the just ended campaign as well as the cost of some of the medals presented to award winners the recent national awards. (It is good to reward deserving citizens but it should be done in moderation)

In spite of all these, I kept my faith in Papa Kufour but the one that disturbs me is the current issue of benefits to be paid to ex-presidents…hmmmm! This is very shocking to say the least. I believe strongly that ex-presidents should be well taken care off but it should never be to the detriment of the masses. Consider the number of families that can’t afford a decent meal a day, the unemployed, school drop-outs and professionals (teachers, doctors etc) whose salaries haven’t been paid. A lot of these people have to sacrifice daily even though their pay doesn’t commensurate what they do.

For me, the issue of ex-gratia for ex-presidents at the moment leaves a bad taste in the former President Kufour’s administration and does not say well of a nation that calls of its citizenry rich and poor to sacrifice their little or much to the good of mother Ghana. Ah ah ! Na waa ooo! This is too much. Whoever proposed and approved of these benefits must ask themselves some serious questions. Our leaders should try and put themselves in the shoes of the ordinary people who gave them the mandate to rule. The poor is becoming poorer whilst the rich becomes richer. I am not a communist but am I believer of equal opportunities.

Well done President Atta-Mills.

I was pleased to read about the moves been made by the camp of President J.E.A. Mills to cut down the excesses in governance so as to save the taxpayer a few cedis. That is a true example. Thank Mr. President and God bless you. Keep it up please.

If we have to move Ghana forward we should be very willing to make some sacrifices to advance the national agenda. To Ex-President Kufour I will ask that please advice the the Chinery Hesse committee or parliament to withdraw the package of retirement benefits put forward by and recommend an independent body to make a moderate and realistic offer to be represented to parliament. If I were in your shoes sir, I will even say thank you but a few security details and some few monthly cedis would do seeing that you are already blessed. I would ask the same of Ex-President Rawlings.

Performance related benefits.

As a Human Recourse expert, I would recommend that benefits for ex-presidents should be based on performance which would be measured by the per capita income, growth in the GDP and the rate of inflation.

If you are interested in moving Ghana forward please send your sensible and realistic comments to dr.objective@yahoo.co.uk.

Thank you very much.

Kweku Afful a.k.a Dr. Objective.