After introducing the Capitation grant, National Health Insurance, free Maternity care, School feeding programme and other pro poor policy interventions, former President John Agyekum Kufuor is obviously not happy with the 'Thank you' treatment being meted out to him by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
He is particularly worried about the retrieval of cars from his residence and the hullabaloo surrounding his new office in Accra. He has, however, declined to make any public statement for now, promising to do so at the right time. At a meeting held at his private residence in Accra over the weekend, with the Brong Ahafo Patriotic Caucus (BAPAC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the former President declined to speak to the media in order to avoid making statement that would aggravate the situation.
Mr. Stephen Ntim, a former second vice Chairman of the party and one of the leaders of the delegation, told The Chronicle that the 'old man' (Kufuor) was not happy with current developments in the country, where the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has sought to damage the former President's reputation. “Naturally, he is not happy about it but he has decided to keep his calm for now, he is not going to talk now, but he is not happy about these developments”, he noted. Asked why Mr. Kufuor is not a happy man, Mr. Ntim, who once contested the National Chairmanship position of the party but lost, said “he is human, he is not happy about these developments, I'm not happy and I don't think you will be happy if you were in his shoes or my shoes.” He further noted that “if we sit down and allow these things to be meted out to him and for the NDC government to embarass him the way they are doing, then the rest of us will not be safe in the country.”
After BAPAC had held talks with the former President, Mr. Ntim said he (Kufuor) was touched by the concern the group had shown towards the current developments meant to humiliate him.
The delegation was made up of key members of the party in the Brong Ahafo region, including the likes of Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Dr. Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, George Boakye and Mr. T.K Obeng. In a statement signed by Nana Ama Bame Busia and Mr. Steve Ntim, BAPAC expressed deep concern about recent developments in the country, in which it noted that “a man who has distinguished himself so well is being harassed unnecessarily.” “BAPAC condemns in the strongest of terms the illegal way your vehicles, which were part of your entitlements were retrieved, and now the unwarranted brouhaha over your Ridge office building”, it emphasised.
This, according to the group, makes it difficult for them to accept what they described as President Mills' rhetoric of being a father to all and uniting all Ghanaians.
The group has therefore vowed to stand by Mr. Kufuor in these times of difficulty, stressing that “we are prepared to offer our assistance as and when it is needed and will do everything within our means to make sure our fledgling democracy is sustained and developed in freedom,” the statement added.
The group said it was worth noting the fact that Mr. Kufuor assumed the reigns of power at a time when the national coffers and reserves were dry, with its attendant effects on inflation and lending rates, weaker state institutions and a precarious security situation. In spite of that, they noted -“these challenges did not prevent you from building a Ghana capable of supporting the poor, and bridging the gap between the poor and the rich, thereby creating wealth out of empty coffers”.
The result of these, according to the group, is the resilient economy that Ghanaians are witnessing today. According to them, a health sector, which was then running on the deadly wheels of a 'cash and carry' system in the year 2000, had to be replaced by Mr. Kufuor's government with a more humane National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Whilst crediting the former President for the introduction of the Free Maternal Care policy which enables pregnant women to deliver at the hospitals and clinics at no cost, they also praised him for introducing the Capitation Grant, Free Busing system and the National School Feeding Programme which has not only increased enrolment at basic schools, but also increased the retention rate as well. According to BAPAC, the legacies of the former President can only be compared to those of the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President. In striking the difference that exists between the two personalities, the group stressed, “the only difference between you and the first President is that, while the later had post independent seed money to start off, you came to meet a nation on its knees and created a heroic Ghana out of zero.”
In these trying times, the group encouraged Mr. Kufuor to remain steadfast in his quest to support the NPP to remain united in opposition, in order to regain power in the year 2012, saying: “and your name will be engraved in golden letters when the history of the Danquah-Busia tradition comes to be written.”
It therefore could not but wish the former President good health, long life and fruitful retirement, with the hope and belief that posterity will be kind to the 'old man' when future generations celebrate the nation's achievements