Be circumspect on Radio Talk Show.

Mon, 17 Feb 2014 Source: Atta-Boakye, Ken

The day Ghanaians realize that the salvation and prosperity of the nation lies in our own hands will be a huge blessing to both the citizens and the nation. There is too much negative talk, ill-responsible and negligent comments going on in the media. People who choose to contribute on radio talk shows to clarify issues should be honest to themselves to give an accurate and true account than polluting public perception. Such behavior contributes to bad leadership and it ruins the nation.

On Monday, February 10, 2014, I tuned in to Asempa FM Radio Talk-Show to listen in to our dynamic “Vim lady”, Afua Pokua, on Burning Issues. The topic at hand was: “The School Feeding Program” One woman called in and without mincing words she strongly defended the program and insisted that everything was right about the program except that those in opposition read different meanings to the award of contracts as well as the organizational aspects. She believed that those who talk ill about the program do so for political vindictiveness. It received a sharp rebuttal from Dr Amoako Tuffour.

Dr Amoako Tuffour was the former Director of the School Feeding Program under the Kuffour administration. He contradicted everything the woman said and explained that the program as at now is beset with unprecedented problems: monies are not released on time and the quality of food is poor. Also the contractors do shoddy job and claim that the funds given to them is not proportional based on the number of children to feed and several other factors account for the seemingly failure of the school Feeding program. By all indications, he concluded that the purpose for which the NPP initiated the program has been defeated for no tangible reason. He stressed that the woman who just spoke those good things about the program was doing so to win the favor of the government and to help her keep her contract for the school feeding program.

Another elderly person called in to give a fatherly advice. This is where I think the elderly people, especially those who lived during the Nkrumah era, should not attempt to divide the nation on partisan politics. He advised Ghanaians to stop playing politics with the school feeding program and desist from giving credit to whichever party that initiated the program. In the same breadth he went ahead to reveal that the program was the brain-child of Nkrumah. He didn’t elaborate. I thought to myself where is this man coming from? Giving credit to Nkrumah was way off base on this topic. I’m an elderly Ghanaian who lived during the Nkrumah era. From 1954-63 I was in Nkruma’s free Elementary and compulsory school program. I can give an eye-witness account of the Nkrumah administration. There was no school feeding program in the Elementary schools, neither in the cities nor in the villages. However, there was a school feeding program in the boarding colleges and institutions which existed long before Nkrumah became the Head of State. Maybe the Young Pioneer Movement, (to pursue Nkruma’s dreams) were given free meals, free uniforms, free Nkrumah sandals, free beret, free scarf, and free books. Nkrumah was a visionary leader but we have other visionary leaders today too. We should recognize that! Let us be open-minded to give the correct historical accounts for our posterity. Such divisive and bias comments only hurt our nation. Be circumspect on radio talk shows.

Ken Atta-Boakye, Woodbridge - Virginia, (kenattaboakye@gmail.com)

Columnist: Atta-Boakye, Ken