Were he the honest politician that he would have Ghanaians believe that he was or has been and is, Mr. John Dramani Mahama would humbly and soberly have since long apologetically admitted that as President, he thoroughly bankrupted the John Agyekum-Kufuor-established National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), that made healthcare facilities all over the country readily accessible to all Ghanaian citizens and residents, regardless of class, ethnicity or economic status. So, for the Bole-Bamboi native, from the Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region, to be self-righteously decrying what Yagbonwura Kwame Gonja claims to be the deliberate and reckless abandonment of healthcare projects began by previous administrations, constitutes the very height of arrogance and hypocrisy (See “It Breaks My Heart to See the Many Health Projects Abandoned by Akufo-Addo Gov’t – Mahama Weeps” Modernghana.com 7/27/22).
The former President would be better off telling Ghanaians precisely how many uncompleted healthcare projects and facilities left behind by the previous Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had been completed and operationalized by the tandem National Democratic Congress-sponsored Mills-Mahama regimes that occupied the helm of the country’s affairs from January 7, 2009, to January 7, 2017. It would take the newly elected President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over $ 2 billion (USD) to resuscitate the effectively bankrupted National Health Insurance Scheme to enable working class and lumpen-poor Ghanaian citizens regain access to public healthcare facilities around the country. Now, what the foregoing means is that the healthcare facilities that Mr. Mahama claims to have been started by his government could not have been accessed or used by the overwhelming majority of Ghana’s working class and lower-class citizenry without an effectively functioning National Health Insurance Scheme, a critical social-intervention program that had been deliberately and unconscionably mismanaged and completely abandoned by the Mahama government.
It is also rather scandalous for the former President to have supervised the completion of the self-glorifying John Dramani Mahama and Lordina Mahama Maternity and Children’s Ward at the Bole-Bamboi District Hospital, six protracted years after he had been democratically and deservedly afforded the boot out of Jubilee House, to wit, the Presidency. The fact that the aforementioned project is located smack in the very township in which Yagbonwura Kwame Gonja was born and raised, ought to tell Ghanaians about the kind of relationship that exists between the 64-year-old billionaire career politician and his own kinsfolk, clansmen and clanswomen. On the latter count, the reference regards, the tired, old maxim which counsels that “Charity must always begin at home.”
Maybe Ghanaians also need to remind the former Arch-Lieutenant of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills of the fact that it took First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo less than two years into the tenure of the first term of her husband, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to construct the Nana Afia Kobi Maternity Ward at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ghana’s second largest and second most important civilian hospital, must also tell Ghanaians something about the salutary sense of urgency and social responsibility of Mrs. Akufo-Addo relative to the much younger Mrs. Mahama. And guess what, Dear Reader, Naa Becky Griffiths-Randolph did not name the aforesaid project after herself or any of her equally distinguished relatives. Now, this is the enviable profile of a woman and a “Mother-of-the-Nation” who is very comfortable in her own skin and perfectly at peace with herself.
But, perhaps, what is even more significant to underscore here is the fact that the aforesaid Nana Afia Kobi Maternity Ward was a project that had been started by the P/NDC-executed Col., later Gen., I K Acheampong-led junta of the National Redemption Council (NRC) and had been abandoned by successive regimes, including all the four governments of the National Democratic Congress in Ghana’s Fourth Republic, as well as the kleptocratic faux-revolutionary Social Darwinian architects of the Cash-and-Carry healthcare policy of the late Chairman Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-led extortionate junta of the Provisional National Defense Council over the protracted course of some 45 years or approximately two generations.
Our obvious and unabashed contention here, of course, is that if any Ghanaian leader fully appreciates the imperative need to completing projects underwritten by the Ghanaian taxpayer but long and unconscionably abandoned to the corrosive vagaries of the elements, as it were, that leader is none other than Ghana’s present leader, namely, Oseadeeyo Nana Sintim Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Akwamuman and Okyeman. For a robber-baron politician whose personal wealth has been valued by the Forbes Organization to be worth in excess of ONE BILLION DOLLARS, Yagbonwura Kwame Gonja is rather shamefully and scandalously niggardly when it comes to the charitable spreading of his largely stolen wealth for the greater good of even his own clansmen and women. And the nerve that he has to cavalierly presume that he could impugn the integrity of Ghana’s foremost social-intervention oriented statesman and politician is all the more to be pitied.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 27, 2022
E-mail: [email protected]