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24.08.2020 Editorial

Editorial: Okada Mentality Politics

John Mahama
LISTEN AUG 24, 2020
John Mahama

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is dangling a dangerous carrot in the face of commuter motorbike operators otherwise known as 'okadas', a campaign strategy born out of desperation.

It presents us with further evidence about its cluelessness in addressing the Ghanaian situation and preference for deceit and mind manipulation.

At a time when its New Patriotic Party (NPP) counterpart has posted science and data steeped development strategies as contained in its just unfurled manifesto, NDC continues to bask in its antiquated approach to national progress.

Digitization and sophisticated novelties being introduced by the NPP administration, with some already being perfected even as the NDC turns its back on the realities, are features of Ghana today.

The novel policies as contained in the NPP manifesto will present 'okada' operators with better and safer sources of income, a refreshing difference from the NDC promise of permanent and risky street work on motorbikes, with no insurance when tragedy strikes as it normally does.

The NDC can only manage the foregone through deceit and subterfuge, because it lacks the wherewithal to alter the lot of 'okada' riders who need a permanent and safe source of income bereft of harassment from cops in the street corners of Accra and time at the Accident Centre at both Korle Bu and the 37 Military hospitals.

The NDC should have avoided this subject in its scheme of lies and presented this segment of the population which is entitled to the national pie with an alternative to the parlous work in the streets of Accra.

We are aware of how some of the riders are JHS products and even beyond but because of the non-progressive programmes of the years passed under NDC administrations they have found themselves in dire situations of helplessness and joblessness, with the only option open to them being their current occupation.

The NDC message to the youth on 'okada' is that 'we can only give you an assurance of permanent occupation on motorbikes in the face of the multifaceted danger warts and all.' Of course, with no social security and, therefore, a future without a promise, the NDC message is one hinged on presentiment.

It hurts to conclude that this is what NDC politics has been reduced to. A campaign driven by callous deceit should be shot down by discerning Ghanaians.

These are the people who prefer to splash state largesse on uneducated slay queens instead of helping the poor to have better education. Their belligerence towards the Free SHS policy says it all.

One of their Members of Parliament is reported to have proclaimed that 'okada' is better than the NABCo introduced by this government to reduce graduate unemployment. Can you believe that? It is another typical NDC thinking for us to brood over and which reminds us about one of the NDC doctors claiming that under them Covid-19 would have been eradicated within 21 days.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had cause to complain about the rate at which the 'okada' business is causing permanent injuries and even fatalities to its operators and others.

It is unfortunate and regretful that with indisputable empirical evidence about the cons of the 'okada' business, the NDC would seek to politicize it when clearly the law debarring it was passed under its tenure and for good reasons.

What 'okada' riders need is an assurance about a future full of promise outside the dangers of the streets which is what the NPP manifesto has tackled beautifully.

Keeping education out of the reach of the youth and making many citizens hewers of wood and drawers of water so they can easily be manipulated as in the subject under review is the order of the NDC. The reason they resent free SHS could not have been better presented.

Source: Daily Guide

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