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Opinions of Thursday, 20 August 2020

Columnist: Anthony Obeng Afrane

‘Mahama obsession’ discrediting Bawumia

In a raging hypnotization by Mahama’s imminent return to the Jubilee House in 2021, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has abandoned his duties to obsess himself with bastardizing the former President with baseless claims and utterances.

It is a known fact that Dr. Bawumia has made John Dramani Mahama his project constantly hurling invectives at the affable man of the people. The recent reference to him as ‘old cargo’ sent Bawumia’s discourse down to comedy levels, worse of it being Wednesday 12th August 2020, the International Youth Day while meeting clueless sycophantic New Patriotic Party youth.

During the meeting, Bawumia appeared to fall short of any meaningful message and strayed into a rendition of false claims. At a time on that fateful day when President John Mahama was giving true hope to the youth of Ghana by promising to create one million jobs through a $10billion infrastructure project when he returns to power.

Dr. Bawumia went into a trance, and falsely accused the former president of doing nothing for the youth while comically singing the NPP’s ineffective ‘one this, one that; free so, so and so’ mantra.

Without realizing he was campaigning and needed to state what he will do for the youth, he claimed they have restored teacher and nursing trainees’ allowances; implemented Free SHS, one village one dam; reduced electricity tariffs, etc. The audience may be hailing at these spurious claims but the real facts which matter to the voter were lost.

The so-called restoration of the trainee allowance turned out to be a tragedy which the beneficiaries are ever desirous to shed off.

Apart from being a restricted and reduced take-while-in-school bait, the NPP and Bawumia contrived to punish the trainees after school. There is no job for them after ‘enjoyment’.

Teacher trainees are forced to undertake mandatory National Service and left to rot at home afterwards. The least said about the nurses’ plight the better. Bawumia was not aware that the NPP cut off the trainee allowances of other beneficiaries like the Agric Training Colleges and Schools of Hygiene.

Besides the above manipulations, the NPP, Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have drastically reduced intake into these training institutions thereby denying many youth the opportunity to access training at those levels. Is this good they are doing to the youth?

John Mahama being so visionary decided to cancel those allowances in the interest of the youth. This policy allows his administration to build infrastructures like the hospitals and more schools where graduates can get jobs to do.

The policy opens access to more youth to benefit instead of having no access at all. Indeed, the trainees themselves have regretted being deceived by Akufo-Addo and Bawumia and have begun calling for the return of the visionary John Mahama.

It is instructive to note that on the same day that Bawumia was blaring false achievements, the staff of University of Environment and Sustainable Development in the president’s constituency, Akim Abuakwa North, were crying for their over a year salary arrears.

These struggling staff have children who are youth but are being starved because the government of Akufo- Addo and Bawumia refused to pay their parents to feed them.

Bawumia in a forgetful mood claimed Akufo- Addo reduced electricity tariffs. Well, even the marines do not just believe anything nowadays. We were in this country when the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission was compelled to announce a populist tariff reduction for hairdressers and barbers.

In March 2018 the government announced 17.5% and 30% for homes and businesses respectively. Few months later, the reduction was reversed through a complex tariff increment of 11.17% in July 2019, a move the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF) condemned as business- killing.

Again during the lockdown period when prices of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and natural gas fell, Bawumia did not think about the youth to reduce electricity tariffs.

Needless to repeat though, that the NPP’s Free SHS being touted is a shambolic one that threatens to destroy our youth's education.

Never before has a ‘competent’ government implemented a program without a framework. This type of NPP Free SHS has led to a colonial times double-track system giving students fewer contact hours.

The bad result of this rushed unplanned policy is the all-die-be-die spirit being manifested by some of the students who are angry with the poorness of the program.

A government that cares about quality education for the youth is that of John Mahama and Jane Naana that promised to develop infrastructure and end the obnoxious backward double-track system.

Bawumia needed a reminder of how poorly his Nation’s Builders Corp is being run. His care for the youth engaged in that program is to pay them nothing for years while deceiving the public 80% of them are permanently employed. How will you pay full salaries to them while you cannot pay them meagre allowances? To add insult to injury, Bawumia and his cohorts have opened the NABCO portal for applications because we are getting to elections.

One of the social interventions under this super incompetent government is to deceive the youth consistently.

A lot of youth have lost their lifetime investments to the senseless financial sector clean up. They are crying daily for their money; cries that fell lightly on the ears of Akufo-Addo and Bawumia who claimed they care for them. While Bawumia spends more than GHc1.9million on refreshment in his office, the poor youth is demonstrating on the street to draw his attention to their plight.

There is no job for them; their government is sunk into increasing national debts for them to pay in the future. The one village one dam has no water in them to help them farm. The one district one factory where they claimed they created jobs is a collection of private investments that employ foreign nationals with no hope for Ghanaian youth.

No one can develop a country with comedians; Bawumia has run away from tackling the cedi’s depreciation; he failed to ensure that unsensible borrowing heaping more debt on the economy is controlled! How does this man call himself a competent manager of the economy?

He is toiling to match up to John Mahama, who is not his class. No wonder Bawumia has been removed from the Economic Management Team by the NPP, he is better being a nauseating parrot.

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