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When Will The Pettiness Stop?

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 Source: The Herald

Students of strategy and history will agree that in all forms of government, rulers are motivated by and subsequently judged based on the legacy they live behind. Whilst in power they strive to shape their legacy through their deeds and the statement they make.

“Former President John Agyekum Kufuor last week underwent a successful spinal surgery at the Cardiothoracic Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KTH) in Accra.

“A statement signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, Spokesperson for the former President, copied to GNA in Accra on Tuesday, said former President Kufuor was currently recuperating at the privately owned FOCOS Clinic in Accra.

“It said the two-hour long operation, was carried out by a team of doctors and from The Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine Clinic in Accra, led by Dr Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, the internationally acclaimed spinal surgeon.

“ Other core members of the team were Dr Harry Akoto, a neurosurgeon, Dr Lawrence Sereboe, Director of the Cardiothoracic Centre, nurses and paramedics from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

“The statement said the team of anaesthetists comprised of Dr Eugenia Lamptey, Head, Department of Anaesthesia at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Irene Wulff, Dr Kotei, and Dr Ofosu-Appiah, all of the KTH.

“ It said former President Kufuor praised the doctors, nurses and paramedical staff for their professionalism and care.

“Their work was coordinated by the President’s personal medical officer, Dr Ama Boohene-Andah, under the guidance of consultants, Dr Albert Akpalu and Dr J.E Mensah.

“ He said: “Ghana should be proud to have such a competent store of talents who show concern and dedication comparable to anywhere else in the world. Society should acknowledge and make full use of this great human resource.”

The black man is capable of managing his own affairs, this is the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of independent Ghana on the eve of March 6, 1957, when he addressed Ghanaians and his fellow Africans at the polo court here in Accra.

Last two weeks something monumental and miraculous happened in this country, when John Agyekum Kufuor, the former president had successful spinal surgery at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, as captured in the statement issued from his office.

Unfortunately such a momentous feat was defeated by the usual patronage associated with the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The party sought to score cheap political point by first issuing a statement from the office of the former President and following it up with the usual propaganda and ugly noises by the apparatchiks of the NPP on airwaves, parading themselves as believing more in Ghana than any other person.

We should be proud as a nation that at least we have gotten somewhere after 55 years of independence, we live in times where the political elite are beginning to patronize our hospitals and have faith in the ability and the capacity of our doctors to perform simple procedures as fixing a crooked or broken spinal cord.

Gone are the days when our politicians would run-off to South Africa, Britain or the United States of America to treat common cold and headache.

Can the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also make politics out of this? I say yes, if only they also want to be as petty as their counterparts in the NPP. Why because the procedure happened in their reign, which means Korle-bu Teaching Hospital is now functional under the able leadership of President John Evans Atta Mills.

Those who seek equity must first come with clean hands. In President Kufuor’s eight years of office as the Commander in Chief, from 2001 to 2009, how many times was he or any of his appointees treated in any hospital in Ghana?.

The late Finance Minister, Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, died in South Africa, when he went to seek for medical treatment.

My sincere apologies to the family, this had only become imperative because of the empty and unintelligent propaganda by the government and the party he served. Of course as our elders say, do not speak ill of the dead.

What we are witnessing and hearing concerning the health of the former President merely confirms the death of decency and the absence of even the slightest trace of altruism among members of the NPP. From the way they assumed power in 2001, to the desperate and wanton manner in which they dispensed the privileges of power, one thing is clear, self aggrandizement is the name of the game to them.

This hypocrisy and double standard must stop. We must begin to see politics in this country as a serious business, and not reduce it to pettiness. The lives of 24 million Ghanaians and posterity depend on the decisions we take today.

When you conveniently make politics out of nothing, you must remember that the trust Ghanaians reposed in you is not about whether or not Kufuor was treated in this country, but the fact that regardless of who you are or how much you earn, whenever you are sick, first of all you should be able to afford the cost of treatment and most importantly that our medical facilities are up to modern and accepted standards to treat any kind of ailment.

If Kufuor had elevated the status of Korle-Bu and other hospitals to modern standards, what is the news in the fact that he was treated in Ghana and not abroad. Does the NPP no longer have faith in the ability of Ghanaians, I am not surprised because they have never believed the Ghanaian is capable of doing anything for himself.

Why must we begin to seek for equalization by asking silly questions as, why is President Mills not seeking treatment in this country? This argument and comparison falls flat on the platter of common sense.

Sometimes it seems as if ex-president Kufuor and the NPP are content with pushing each other closer and closer to the edge of idiocy because that is easier than pushing ideas to convince voters on the best people to rule this country.

The health of our leaders is of utmost importance to the people of this country because of their worth to us, and hence must not be politicized. How much do their presences impact on our economy, so everything possible must be done to ensure that they are safe and sound. It means therefore we should not entertain playing politics with their health!

My readers should forgive me, but if I may ask, who bears the cost of President Kufuor’s treatment. If it is the tax payer, aren’t the politicians spitting in their faces.

It is about time the NPP begun to respect Ghanaians, and appreciate the fact that they are wide awake and discerning now. They are able to see through their lie and desperation to bring down anybody who does not share in their ideology.

We are in the 21st century and we must change the way we do politics. This populist approach to politics must change. Ghanaians are more interested in the bread and butter issues. Ghanaians are confronted with the issues of education, shelter, health and other basic necessities of life.

Perhaps those charged to misinform us are themselves misinformed.

Columnist: The Herald