Rest In Perfect Peace Ama Sumani: A heroine has departed!!

Sun, 11 May 2008 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

She was a widow and terminally sick. She begged not to be sent to the meat grinder that Ghana’s health care system represents. In the end, the British authorities did not heed her solemn and heart wrenching pleas. Hauled away in a wheel chair, she landed safely in Accra and her care was never the same. The disruption in service did not help! The lack of thalidomide in Ghana to care for her did not help. The demand of payment initially and refusal to take offers because she did not have enough to pay consistently for her care did not help. The fact that she could not be stationed in the north where her family resided, breezed loneliness on her ailing and gallant soul. Now, she has made eternal peace with her maker. The heroine has left the room. I have a feeling that if she had stayed in the UK, she may have lived a little longer since two years is the reported average for those who suffer malignant myeloma. But this story is far bigger that Ama living longer. It speaks to the vampire system operated by the elite in Ghana. If this had been a minister or Kufour, he would have been flown from Ghana to the UK instead of the opposite.

It is very interesting that Ama Sumani’s death has passed without incident. Kufour, the funeral maestro, was not at her funeral doling out wads of per diem money. Given the symbolic nature of her case, one would think that the president would have taken it seriously. At least speak to the nation about what is being done to improve the situation and how everyone can help to get us there. No not Kufour! As far as he is concerned, this is another dead commoner who does not deserve the grace and concern of the king that Kufour represent. Ok, even if the president is busy traveling and collecting outrageous per diem, what about the minister of health? Why couldn’t he pay this woman a visit and lift her spirits? The eerie silence that greeted Ama Sumani from the NPP is indeed heart wrenching. Are we to assume that the NPP leadership is a collection of callous individuals? Not one minister lamented about her situation and the need to fix our health care system for all. What really did this government do to help this woman’s situation? We know of what the good citizens of Ghana and the world over did. They raised money to pay for her care and were indeed planning to airlift her back to England when her body gave up. What did the NPP do? What did the politicians all across Ghana do and what lessons have they gleaned from this tragic incident? How about all those in Ghana who have similar situations as Ama? What are we doing about them even as we order luxury jets, buy luxury cars, haul in unthinkable per diem and junket around the world aimlessly? Follow me for a moment!! Let me catch the Rev J. Wright fever and see what sermon I can summon.

My friends, while Ama Sumani lay dying, Kufour was busy reappointing his former health minister who has been found to be a lair and of course a cheat. The health minister that helped create the meat grinder that our people suffer in today! Perhaps if Anane had used the same dexterity for conquering women towards our health care system when in charge, Ama may have stayed a little a longer with us. Kufour is more interested in getting the sex crazed Anane back in office than he is addressing the concerns of the health challenges of Ghana. While Ama Sumani lay dying, Kufour was plotting and planning about how to buy Jets for the next president before he leaves office! What really was the urgency? Only Kufour and his NPP folks know! We can spend 100’s of millions buying planes and all kinds of fancy military gadgets but we can’t invest same in the health care of our people? Safety and health care, which comes first? Can’t this president and his men understand that health care comes way before this defense nonsense? Are we more interested in propping up our elite in luxury while further ditching our masses into poverty? What really do we need planes for if our people cannot get the care that they need? I am convinced that these purchases are all motivated by what is in it for these politicians personally. If you think this is about Ghana think again. Kufour does not give a care so long as his personal interest and that of his followers are being met.

I know some of you will begin to gyrate and twitch about why your beloved Kufour is being taken to task. Let me speak to why I think the president should be held responsible. Can anyone tell me how many times Kufour has gone to the NPP majority parliament and not received what he wants? In Nkrumah’s time, he also had a majority and the same crop of shameless NPP folks accused him of abusing his parliamentary majority. In those days, the disgruntled opposition made us believe that it was about resisting a tyrant. Can anyone tell me how our current arrangement is different from what Nkrumah had? What we have now is a tyranny of the majority! The NPP is ramming all kinds of nonsense down our throat. The latest of such crap is the re-nomination of Anane and the purchase of luxurious jets for the president. We have spent more on the presidency since Kufour came to power than anytime in history. From the presidential mansions, now jets, per diem, the bureaucracy, failed PSI initiatives and all kinds of boondoggles. Is Ghana still not a HPIC country? This president is spending like a drunken sailor whilst the people continue to live under dire conditions. He is aided in this effort by the NPP coterie and some spineless NDC double talk leaders. The floods are back in the cities and our people continue to suffer quietly as this runaway government willfully neglects their moans and groans. Never has such a constitutionally powerful president been so weak on solutions. Never!

The piece needed to upset this apple cart is the people. Where are the people of Ghana? My Gawd!! Do we stand for anything at all? Are willing to sacrifice for the next generation? Where are the coarse voices of the good people of Ghana? Can I hear a voice in the wilderness? For how long are we going to tolerant this tripe? My friends, suffering is not an acceptable way of life. It is not a permanent condition that must be nursed and encouraged. I don’t know what our people have been fed but they must wake up and kick this nonsense in the shin. I have always maintained that one of the debilitating and negatively enduring legacies of our situation is the Rawlings inspired constitution that cripples the people and statues a president King over them. Kufour is perhaps the most mindless opportunist of all the presidents we’ve ever had. So what does he do? Exploit the situation to the core. It is for this reason that the freedom of information act and other telling legislation have been shelved. And make no mistake, Kufour is patently behind the effort not to pass these pieces of key legislation. We know he is scared stiff about what the people will find once his per diem voucher is unfurled. We also know he can get anything passed if he wants and the track record is there to show. So why can’t we have these significant legislation passed to strengthen and expose the filth going on in Ghana?

Sleep well my sister Ama! I never met you but I feel you! Sleep well Ama! Know that you’ve enriched our lives and awaken us to the dire truth. The truth that unless you are a royal or part of the ruling class, you don’t count. From your serene grave, you continue to point to the rotten leadership that we nurse. The sound of your trumpet is loud and clear and we will continue to shine our candles on the lessons that you taught us. You brought the world’s attention to the dangerous health care system that exist in Ghana. You reminded us that pockets of our media cannot be taken seriously at this point in time. May God keep you safe forever. Your strength and will in the face of adversity will continue to embolden us to fight our own demons in the land that brought us forth. We will continue to soldier on until we get it right. God bless you till we meet again. Sleep well!! A heroine has indeed departed!!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Da Double Edge Sword)

“I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell.” Harry Truman

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka