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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Columnist: Mumin, Rashid Abdul

Rejection of alleged over stay of UW regional director of education

I write to draw the attention of the authorities that be against the alleged decision of some executive members of the Upper West Regional schools and Colleges Sports Federation trying to advance plans to write a petition to enable Mr Iddrisu Mahama the ACTING Regional Director of Education to stay and host the forthcoming national schools and colleges sports festival slated for the Upper West Region in September 2015 before proceeding on retirement. It may sound like a rumor but every rumor has a foundation and an iota of truth in it.

The federation has an executive committee and as such no decision can be taken without the approval of the executive committee members. Hosting of the games (festival) is not the sole responsibility of an individual but a collective responsibility of every native of the region. Does one need to be in active service before contributing his or her quota to the hosting of the games? So why would anybody think that without Mr. Iddrisu Mahama the region cannot host the festival?

The Upper West Region since its inception has hosted five different festivals successfully without Mr. Mahama Iddrisu and the regional director of educations. In 1989, the region hosted the last edition of the then Elementary Schools National Festival, in 1995 hosted the National Schools and Colleges Sports Festival, in 1997 hosted the Milo Under 17 colts championship. And in August 2010 hosted the Ghana Football Association Juvenile Soccer Festival and in September, and in2010 again, hosted the National Schools and colleges sports festival.

I don’t think the region is handicapped when it comes to personnel to hold the fort in organizing festivals. The region is blessed with the best human resource as we still have our senior Physical Education colleagues around who have played pivotal role in all the festivals the region hosted before. I want to find out from those behind this wicked plan of forcing down our throats the acting regional director of education in the name of sports festival. It must be mentioned that Heads Municipal Chief Executives and District Chief Executives together with the regional coordinating council come in to support sports festivals and are we saying that such an activity will fail without Mr. Iddirisu?Very unfortunate and grievous mistake of the century for anybody to support this move of retaining the ACTING regional director of education. We the teachers in the region shall go all out to upset that move.

As I write I must put on record that the date of Mr. Mahama’s birthdates is a contentious issue which is still pending. He has three different birth dates which has thrown the entire educational set in the Upper West Region in a state of chaos as teachers and all stakeholders in the educational sector in the Upper West Region are battling with.

As at now it has been settled that Mr. Mahama is due for retirement in January 2015.The coming into being of this particular date was arranged at a meeting with the Regional Coordinating Council Directorate where he had to agree that he will be going on retirement in the year 2015.This was done before the entire political heads of the region where all agreed that the demonstration against his stay in office should be halted since January 2015 is just around the corner. This understanding has helped cool down tempers and for any mischievous person to hatch out any plan of extending his stay in office, amounts to calculated attempt to run down the constitution of Ghana.

The regional director of education in the Upper West Region has put himself in so much difficulty that he operates as a demi god in the region. One of his powerful weapon is the use of transfer mechanism to chastise perceived opponents in the region. Teachers are at their wits end since one cannot tell what will happen the next moment. He has become a scare monger in the region with very few who can stand up to his intrigues and antics within the educational setup in the region. The fact of the matter is that the GES boss who should have retired in February last year insisted that he would only leave office after the exit of the ruling NDC government, how can that be possible?

Teachers in the region have accused him of toying with education in the region which has led to consistent abysmal performance of students in both Basic Education Certificate Examination(BECE) and the WASSCE.There have been several calls by well meaning people in the region to give way to more competent person to handle education in the region. But the man will not back down.

Several attempts have been made by educational leaders in the region to mount a massive demonstration against his administration but the police and some political interests are frustrating the entire process. The regional director has been accused of using his position to acquire wealth for himself to the detriment of education. He does not hide his political affiliation and goes ahead to victimize perceived political opponents in the region. He brags that the director general of education in Accra has been filling him in with all the relevant information on all that is happening and he says this to the hearing of the public. He is so obsessed with power that wherever he finds teachers gathered he will accuse them of attempting to demonstrate against him. Available documents show that the beleaguered regional director of education Iddrisu Mahama has two different dates of birth dates. For example, one of the dates stipulates that he was born in February 1953 was used when he entered the Wa Middle Day School, then 1965 popped and later changed it to 1964.We want to appeal to the authorities that be that the current ACTING regional director is not indispensable and must allow the law to operate as it is. There are plans to extend retirement age to sixty five years until the constitutional amendment is carried out the current regional director of education in the Upper West Region must statutorily go as required by the constitution which all of us respect and revere so much as the working document and a guiding principles for all. Nobody in this country is above the law and all must respect and keep the law the way it should be kept. The rule of law touches on all facets of Ghanaian life and no one, repeat, no one should be allowed any leverage more than what is necessary and allowed by the Ghanaian constitution. The current ACTING regional director of education should not hide under the cloak of any sports festival to prolong his stay in office when in actual fact he is an ACTING capacity for God sake. Mr. Iddrisu Mahama must not act as a demi god and thinks that when he is gone the entire region will collapse.

Many have come before him and he will go and many more will come after him.

A WORD TO THE WISE IS ……………………….!