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Opinions Tue, 28 Feb 2017

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A fixer’s SONA and the fufu debate!

By: dailyguideafrica.com

Our elders say, “A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches.” How profoundly true! Our elders are wise indeed!

It is known to all that the electorate voted massively for change in the last presidential polls. The man who sold the vote message to his compatriots is now the president of the Republic. He delivered his first ever state of the nation’ address (SONA) last Tuesday. What an address that was!

I’ve never missed a single SONA since the inception of the Fourth (4th) Republic. I was in Upper Six in Wa Secondary School when President Dr Boom delivered his maiden SONA in 1993. The delivery was perfect but uninspiring. Nevertheless, we were still very hopeful because the country had then transitioned from military rule to a democratic one.

By the time Dr Boom left office on midnight of January 6, 2001, all the hope we had had turned into disappointment. Cost of living had become unbearable and life was a living hell. No wonder his protégé, Candidate Atta Mills, was given a serious thrashing by Candidate John Kufuor at the December 2000 polls.

As stated earlier, I’ve witnessed all the state of the nation addresses delivered under the 4th Republican Constitution. And trust me when I say the address by President Akufo Addo is the best ever. It is the best not only because of the excellent delivery but also because it inspires hope. Any objective person who listened to the addresses could tell the country has a better future under this president.

Without a doubt, the main highlight of the address was the “Free SHS” policy to be introduced by the government in September. I was disappointed when it became obvious that only the freshers in September would benefit from the programme. The feeling was somewhat anti-climatic.

But hey, is it not said that half a loaf is better than none? It is a good beginning and we should support the government to continue on the good path. I cannot help but pat the government on the back!

I’ve heard many argue that rolling out the programme for only freshers in September would be discriminatory and against the tenets of the Constitution. So I ask; is the establishment of SADA not discriminatory? Is the free education for the North since Dr Kwame Okro’s time not discriminatory?

Abusuapanin, my point is that any policy that targets a particular group is bound to be discriminatory. But what we have to look at is the intention and the desired result. If the discrimination argument is to be accepted, then nothing can be done by any government to improve the lot of the downtrodden in the society.

Other highlights of the address include the government’s commitment to the One District, One Factory policy, the development of the railway system and the resolve to cure the ailing economy of the “kpokpogbligbli” syndrome. The commitment to also provide reliable and affordable power to enterprises and homes is also gratifying.

As expected, the Minority led by Haruna Idrissu was not enthused by the President’s address. They organised their version of the SONA the following day. Haruna Idrissu said a lot of things but he eventually said nothing new because it was a recycled campaign story.

It must be noted that the President’s SONA was devoid of Zenabu and her piglets. It was also a SONA that did not witness the invasion of Parliament by hungry foot-soldiers for food consumption as witnessed in 2009. Unlike his predecessor who believed in complaints, President Akufo Addo promised to be a fixer and not a complainer.

I was, however, disappointed by one thing. Yes, one thing only. The President failed to touch on the raging debate on the benefits and dangers of fufu. Pastor Mensa Otabil started it all by pontificating the dangers and harmful effects of fufu.

I don’t remember ever having a contrary view to that of the revered pastor. But I beg to differ this time. His claim of bacteria in the pestle’s head and in the food during pounding and kneading may be true. But is it also not true that our fathers and grandfathers have eaten fufu and lived longer than we do today?

By the way, I was inspired to write this piece after eating a mountain bowl of fufu. My ever protruding stomach is trying to convince me to believe the respected pastor. But the plain truth is that I just cannot live without my fufu and groundnut soup, bacteria infested or not. So please leave my fufu alone!

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

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