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Opinions of Sunday, 30 November 2014

Columnist: Bolus, Mercy Adede

Some schools in Tamale have no tables and chairs

Some schools in Tamale have no tables and chairs for their pupils



It has now come to light in the wake of the cocaine saga, revealing information is popping is out that about the brother of the President’s brother Ibrahim Mahama is the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners. It appears the Mahama families are living well and money is not a problem. I am just probing and analysing into the information captured on ghanaweb.com 27/11/2014 in which Ibrahim Mahama reported that he has been a businessman for many years, working very hard like many others to earn a decent living for his family and himself. He said illict drugs are a no go area for him.



It has also transpired that the brother of the President has such wealth including his own private plane has which has no red mark on its door.

These days some of our businessmen in Ghana do their own private planes. This is great news!

Perhaps I am not figuring out what is presently happening in Ghana with the economic boom success, has enabled some individuals owning his own jet. It is not a crime but a displaced priority amidst poverty. My big question is, why then is our President wasting the taxpayers’ money jetting around the globe in search of loans from the developed countries to sort our domestic affairs when there are already richer stakeholders luring around within Ghana? At least the interest on such loans will free or at most very minimal.

May be the President’s thoughts are rational!

In any case we have a case here, the brother of the President owns his own private jet and appears to be one of the very rich businessmen in Ghana on a decent salary as the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers.

At the same time, there are children in the Ghana who are being rented out for domestic purposes by the middle class because there is no provision in our system to address their basic needs. For example, there is no “ child benefit” system as we have in Britain to alleviated the suffering most disadvantaged children and their families face daily.

Everyone knows that Ghana is rich in natural resources yet there are so many people are unemployed and live on the in poverty line. Some of our politicians appear to have little clues about what the determinants of health are because if they do it would have helped them in appreciating the agonies this group of people goes through every day in their attempts in escaping poverty. Our country is one of the most densely populated countries in West Africa. As we read in our media daily some politicians have turned the political scene into “a money making machine” and some are so corrupted and used dubious means to become rich and famous. Thus Ghana to become heavily indebted at the expense of the vulnerable and disadvantaged people. I will like to think that our politicians truly want to make a difference for our motherland.

The three regions in the North are particularly very deprived and badly suffering. Many NGOs are also concerned and are genuinely complimenting Governments efforts in an attempt to alleviate the impact of the pains and suffering caused. Many poor children and pregnant mothers are dying because there is no provision made for them in the system not even in the recent Budget Statement. Many poor families are struggling to afford better healthcare. To the average Ghanaian voter, the best candidate to be represent them in Parliament would be someone who is rich and out spoken but community often forget to check out the credentials of that particular. For example whether or not that individual has contributed to the wider aspects pf community development and sure that lessons learnt could then be transferred to the higher office. This investigation is not happening in many communities.

Presently, we have a significant percentage of people dying in Ghana caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. Water aid organisation have noted that 3 million people in Ghana have no clean water and their only choice is to collect dirty water from unsafe sources in this 21st century. Surely something need to be done about this if only communities leaders are aware of their rights to fight for getting their basic supply of clean water.

The 2015 Budget Statement read some few weeks ago appeared to be a fire fighting and sinkhole budget with no provision made within it to address already identified issues previously identified by former Minister of Education regarding the Under The tree form of education and others.

Let’s reflect on the plight of groups of people caught up in these scenarios mentioned earlier. I am referring to the disadvantaged young people due to disabilities, young adult and their families struggling because of abject poverty and lack of education. These groups are all rushing to our high streets as professional beggars /street hawkers and opportunistic petty thieves. Some also suffer mental health issues. I would like to think that the Minister of Finance considered these entire groups in his Budget, as they are not a number of only 800 orphans as noted in his Budget

When you go up and down our rural areas children are being educated Under The Trees with no risk assessment or assessment of the quality of teaching, some their teachers are not paid so spend most of their teaching times busy transacting petty business. Individual who are better off in communities often do not take up their quota of social responsibility but are not.

Close to your heart to Ibrahim Mahama’s own town Tamale there are some children being educated in classrooms without tables and chairs.

One would like to think that perhaps efforts are made by Ibrahim Mahama in working towards social responsibility contributions to help in making a difference over there. He said that he has been a businessman for many years, working very hard like many others to earn a decent living for family and myself. So the obvious would be is he taking up on his social responsibilities to help in alleviating the sufferings already discussed.

There so much poverty in the North and with his expertise in engineering one would thought a rich Northerner may like to emulate the English gentleman Richard Branson is providing a railway service in the U.K by also attempting a similar service from Accra to the North. Would this be a brilliant initiative perhaps? Thus such initiative would help in reducing the inequalities some people in the North face daily due to lack of effective communication. It would also help in creation of jobs and reduced the number of young energetic hopefuls who end slaving themselves in the south. This would be seen as giving something back into a one’s own community.

Every successful genuine hard working businessman would be measured against what they have achieved in giving something back to their communities. It is everyone’s responsibilities ensure that there is regeneration in the North and children and young people have some hope to achieve their full potential in life.

The plight of this disadvantaged group in the North needs to be acknowledged by the Minister of Finance so that serious measures are considered in addressing the imbalance of the fiscal distribution as currently it remains unchallenged.

I would like to think that Ghana is not going down hill in developmental terms. Why were we so much in a rush become an independent country in the first place only 50 years om down the hill crave to be British. Our first President Kwame Nkrumah was selfless and instead of focusing on home affairs and developments he distributed all our wealth to other African countries thus leaving Ghana poor and vulnerable. As a President he never aspired to owning his own private plane though.

Currently we are seeing new bred of some politicians who are not fit for purpose yet accepting higher position and then later on reflection publicly saying that they regret accepting their position. Why? Some don’t even have the qualifications, which give politician that sounded trend of thoughts to understand people. For example, a degree in understanding in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) perhaps. This type of degree is rooted in the view that to understand social phenomena one must approach them from several complementary disciplinary directions and analytical frameworks. The study of philosophy is considered important because it both equips students with meta- tools such as the ability to reason rigorously and logically and facilitates ethical reflection. The study of Policitcs is considered necessary because it acquaints students with the institutions that govern society and help solve collective action problems. Last but not least is studying Economics which is seen as vital in the modern world because political decisions often concern economic matters, and government decisions are often influenced by economic events. So why are some of our policiticians not got this basics yet call themselves politicians.

Many of our politicians are Mr and Mrs nice guys not fit for purpose therefore not astute to the wider aspects of the world in terms of macro and micro dynamics of politics. What some focus on is how to make a Million dollars before they leave office. Because of this short coming many of them struggling to live up to the expectations of the general publicin terms of being astute and challenging and rejecting a sinkhole budget statement of a kind. Ghana needs brillaint leadership qualities in all our Governmental departments to take the country forward.

Poverty is still in Ghana in this 21st century and should be challenged through courts of the UN Convention of the Children Right of Education which takes place three times in a year in Geneva where cases are heard. Our Parliament must have the Gantt chart to seriously tackle all the inequalities the country is facing on a 5 year programme to ensure that every child and pregnant woman receive the best health in their community. The Minister of Finance did not address early years development in his budget he may not be aware of the problems early years group face and the impact of later life. The needs of the early years is equally as essential as those in SHS and further education. Perhaps we need a second Budget Statement for 2015. This would be more comprehensive and breakdown into units of resources allocation which would help in tackling all inequalities in the country.

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