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Opinions of Saturday, 9 December 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

President Akufo-Addo, NDC isn’t prepared to take care of your beloved brainchild!

Let us be honest, our cogitative elders are absolutely right on their proverbial expression: ‘se obi anwowoa oni wo’ (literally means no one can take care of you better than your own solicitous parents).

“We know those who have a record for scrapping pro-poor policies – nursing and teacher trainees will bear testimony. I wish to assure them that Free SHS will be sustained, that Free SHS is here to stay. The overwhelming majority of Ghanaians support the choice that I have made in implementing Free SHS (Akufo-Addo).”

I could not agree more with the preceding statement of fact by President Akufo-Addo. Absolutely, there is unobjectionable evidence of NDC’s idiosyncratic antipathy towards every social intervention proposed and implemented by the NPP government.

It is absolutely true that the NDC operatives do not want their opponent to score political points through the poverty reduction policies, and hence fighting tooth and nail to neutralise the positive effects of such social interventions. Indeed, that is an isolated thinker’s selfish mindset that does not promote nation building.

It is, however, worth pointing out that the NDC faithful have ridiculously been holding on to the ideals of social democracy, and, if that is not a deliberate ploy to deceiving the unsuspecting Ghanaians, what is it then?

Education, so to speak, has been the backbone of every successful nation on this planet (Earth). Therefore, it is a step in the right direction for any government to seek to make it free and accessible to all.

Let us however be honest, and rightly so, it is not least surprising to see the opposition NDC loyalists moving heaven and earth to punch holes in the well-embraced poverty alleviation Free SHS with the view to bringing it down.

Isn’t it therefore ironic that after they had campaigned vehemently and voted against the poverty alleviation Free SHS, though, unsuccessful, the NDC loyalists now have the temerity to put up needless resistance over the schematic arrangements of the free SHS? How bizarre?

Let us face it, though, it can never be deemed as short-sightedness or shiftiness, if any forward-thinking government decides to roll out free SHS to the benefit of its citizens in adherence to the international human rights provision on free secondary education, which is detailed in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights.

Dearest reader, if NDC operatives aren’t against the Free SHS, how could they keep fighting so hard to discredit the policy, despite the associated benefits of the newly implemented Free SHS?

Let us admit, the opposition NDC’s never ending and needless protestations against the Free SHS implementation are becoming extremely nauseating, so to speak.

But much as the minority NDC operatives are on a mission to placate their ever so peeved party supporters, they cannot continue to play on the minds of discerning Ghanaians.

As a matter of fact and principle, some of us can neither be hoodwinked nor proselytised by the minority NDC’s gratuitous and sugar-puffed gimmicks.

“Being in Opposition is not just about opposing the Government. “There are occasions when the Opposition agrees with the Government, if the solution proposed by the Government has wide support, and is soundly based, then it’s only natural for the Opposition to agree (Dr Brash).”

How on earth would a supposedly responsible opposition keep convening at breakfast lounges with a view to playing down the associated benefits of the newly implemented Free SHS?

Regrettably, we (Ghanaians) have over the years been handing our destiny into the hands of terrible economic managers, who have only succeeded in sinking the economy deeper and deeper into the mire.

If we stroll down memory lane, the previous NPP government pragmatically introduced 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, the Savana Acceleration Development Authority (SADA) amongst others.

Disappointingly, the erstwhile NDC government succeeded in running down those crucial social interventions to the dismay of discerning Ghanaians.

Dearest reader, this is not an attempt to hyperbolise the sorrowful state of the aforementioned social interventions following NDC government’s eight years of mismanagement.

But if anything at all, we can all bear witness to scandalous corruption cases involving SADA, GYEEDA and how the other social interventions were managed abysmally under NDC government.

You would think that individuals who pride themselves as social democrats will be extremely empathetic to the needs of the masses, but this is not the case with the NDC apparatchiks.

Bizarrely, though, they only sing along the social democratic rendition and then turn their back on the masses. It is an illustrative case of social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

Trust me, should Ghanaians make a calamitous mistake and hand over the poverty alleviation Free SHS programme back to NDC Party in the near future, the supposedly social democrats will gleefully revert the comprehensively free policy to their much touted ‘progressively free’ (whatever that means).