The party of impossible

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe

The entire pack of the front-row operatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has absolutely no credibility; and so Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah’s assertion that the fee-free Senior High School program being implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is a practical impossibility, only falls within the realm of the stereotypical cynicism of the lackluster NDC leadership.

What Mr. Spio-Garbrah simply means is that President Akufo-Addo’s fee-free policy agenda is one that is way out of the range of the creative imagination of the NDC’s movers-and-shakers. And that is charitably conceding that, indeed, the leadership of the falsely styled “Social Democrats” of the National Democratic Congress is incapable of the sort of progressive and creative thinking which Ghanaians have routinely come to associate with the leadership of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

Back in 2001, or thereabouts, they said that the Kufuor-implemented National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was a practical impossibility. They even called it a veritable pipe-dream. But what Messrs. John Evans Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama really meant was that President Kufuor’s most noble policy initiative was a very tough act to follow, as it were.

And true to form and character, by the time that the Mahama Posse got auspiciously jack-booted out of the Flagstaff House, some eight years later, funding for the NHIS had effectively dried out.

Mr. Sylvester Mensah, the power-drunken NDC operative charged with running the NHIS, would have his passports confiscated by the National Bureau of Investigations (BNI) and his bank accounts frozen; Mr. Mensah would also be accused of having pocketed a humongous chunk of funds earmarked for administering the scheme.

But it was clear from the get-go, as it were, that the man was merely being scapegoated as a coverup for the gross administrative incompetence of Mahama operatives like Mr. Alexander Segbefia.

Today, the NHIS continues to be operational, albeit in a wobbly shape, because President Akufo-Addo has, within just 7 months of assuming the reins of governance, paid off at least half of the hundreds of millions of cedis of arrears recklessly incurred by the Mahama Posse. The President has also assured the nation that the other half of the mountainous arrears of the NHIS would be defrayed by the close of the current fiscal year.

You see, when the NDC operatives talk about parental responsibility for the education of their children and wards, contrary to what Mr. Spio-Garbrah would have the rest of us believe, they really mean that it is the obligation of the government to supply tampons and condoms and one-size-fits-all school uniforms for our pupils, while parents do the rest.

In other words, the NDC leaders have their priorities arranged in reverse. And this is why the clinically unhinged likes of Mr. Spio-Garbrah, himself a former Education Minister, have a hard time coming to terms with the possibility of a fee-free Senior High School education.

And all this, because the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime could only provide a fee-free education up to Standard 7 or the 10th grade.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe