The debate over the legalization of Okada motorbike commercial transportation in the leadup to the 2020 Presidential Election – actually, General Election – is patently absurd (See “ ‘We Back Bawumia’s New Plan for Us’ – Okada Riders” MyNewsGH.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/7/20). It is absurd because the rate of accidents, mostly very serious to downright fatal, ought to inform our leaders and politicians and the Okada riders themselves, that it is more of a deathtrap than it is a genuine and safe means of making a decent long-term living. The previous Mahama regime operatives well appear to have been mindful of this all-too-commonsensical fact, thus their equally savvy decision to proscribe Okada transportation several years ago.
Which simply means that the abrupt decision by former President John “Airbus-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama to legalize Okada, once again, is a decision that was taken in acute desperation, opportunism and the pathologically inordinate grab for undeserved power and not in the interest and safety of the Okada riders themselves and their largely low-income fare or passengers as well. Now, we have a morally and socially responsible leader in Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia who has the primary interests of Okada riders and their passengers at heart. On a recent electioneering campaign tour of the Greater-Accra Metropolis, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana proposed the much safer plan and initiative of having each and every Okada rider afforded a commercial motor vehicle at a reasonable price on terms that could be paid off in time to ensure that hardworking Okada riders could make a reasonable profit after paying off their loans. This is what good leadership is about, one that both looks towards the comfort and safety of all Ghanaian citizens, and not one that merely looks towards the shortest route to Jubilee House by any means necessary, including the barbaric sacrificing of the lives of both Okada riders and their fares or passengers which, in effect, includes the life of each and every Ghanaian citizen.
We have to believe him, no two ways about that, when Candidate Mahama boldly and frankly tells his captive audience of supporters and sympathizers that the road to Jubilee House is paved with a lurid manure of lies and deceit. For the leaders of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia-led government of the New Patriotic Party, the road to Jubilee House is one that is paved with uncompromising and socially responsible leadership of a kind that looks towards the safety and protection of all Ghanaian citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and position on the proverbial totem pole or the class ladder. And, oh, I also nearly forgot to add that as a former Deputy-Governor of the country’s central treasury, the Bank of Ghana, Alhaji Bawumia is fully aware of the best and most effective method of protecting the commercial interests of the Okada riders.
It also ought not to come as any surprise, whatsoever, to the Ghanaian public, if Candidate Mahama one of these days also starts chanting that he has decided to create an affordable hire-purchase automobile program for Okada riders. This is all that Mr. Mahama and his associates, minions and hangers-on know what to do best, copy and cannibalize the policy proposals and initiatives of their more progressive, visionary and creative main political opponents. As my 12-year-old son, Papa Yaw Sintim-Aboagye – he will turn 13 early November – is fond of saying: “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
October 12, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]