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11.11.2011 Feature Article

HEALTH ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT – WHAT IS WRONG IF PROFESSOR ATTA MILLS TAKES A HEALTH CHECK?

HEALTH ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT – WHAT IS WRONG IF PROFESSOR ATTA MILLS TAKES A HEALTH CHECK?
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I am totally embarrassed and disgusted by the manner in which ruling NDC flag-bearer and President of the Republic of Ghana, Professor John Atta Mills has handled the quagmire of health allegations around him.

By failing to extricate himself from these allegations which have been largely identified as the cause of his poor performance since assuming the Presidency, Professor Mills is only showing Ghanaians the quality of leadership he will continue to offer.

Issues concerning the health status of our president have been raised on various platforms by politicians in and out of the NDC as well as close confidants of the President. Recently, the Deputy Minister of Information, Hon. Jihadist Baba Jamal confirmed that the President is indeed suffering from severe cancer of the throat. Also raised on some platforms is the suspicion of homosexuality against the president, a perception which can easily be disputed if the President submits himself to a thorough health check.

It is worrying that President Mills continues to ward off calls for him to take a test for cancer cells in his throat, though events unfolding suggest that he has not been well enough to be on top of issues.

Professor John Mills is not only the President of Ghana. He is also the leader and flagbearer of the NDC in the 2012 elections. He has been heard on various platforms declaring that he will hand over power in 2017, even when he has not fulfilled one-tenth of his manifesto promises, less than two months to the end of his “action year” Given that when asked about his health status at a media encounter, he replied “who in this country has no hospital card; and in the light of the revelation by the Deputy Government Public Relations Officer that he has throat cancer, it would have been more welcoming if he had taken the challenge to submit to a health check, supervised by an independent body. This will settle the health related allegations against him.

It is important to make the point that where your competency, especially since assuming the presidency is being questioned by both members of the opposition and stalwarts within your government and your party, and where this incompetency is largely attributed to ill health, it is important to go in for a test to at least assuage the fears and worries of Ghanaians.

In the US of A, the President is required by law to go in for a thorough annual medical check-up, the results of which are made public to his employers (the American people. The purpose of the exam is to give the public a candid medical assessment of the president's ability to perform duties of office.

Recently, the result of President Barack Obama's annual medical check up was made public. This was his second exam as president, and was performed by Navy captain and physician to the president, Dr. Jeff Kuhlman and a couple of other specialists.

A president's competence should not be measured only by his trembling voice when he is angry, his photo shoots for his scrap book, his inability to discipline his “children” and his lack of knowledge of issues that will forever shape our lives. We should be able to judge the competence of our leaders as is done everywhere in the world – even as a head of family, even as a head of a committee, even as commissioner of a body, even as vice-president. The competent manner in which you handle such positions will show to a large extent, the competence you will bring to bear in creating jobs for our people, in providing water for our people, providing electricity for our people.

Had Professor Mills gone for the health check, it would have dispelled rumours making the rounds that the President is only interested in securing his $5million per annum medical fund which he urgently needs to continue living. As things stand now, with the president expressing lack of detailed knowledge of the $3million loan, the STX housing deal, the Professor Frimpong Boateng dismissal and the Gh¢90million campaign fund among others, he has given credence to the suggestions by Hon. Teye Nyaunu, Hon. Baba Jamal, Hon. Alban Bagbin and the founder of the NDC, that his poor state of health is the cause of his incompetency.

In a country like Ghana, where poverty is rife, inherited social intervention policies and programmes are failing, issues concerning the health status of the president are not taken lightly. To preside over a team of greedy bastards when he rode to power preaching against profligate spending, necessitates President Mills to have his head, eyes, ears and throat examined, even if he will never admit he is seriously ill. After all Baba Jamal has warned that by NDC customs, President Mills will never admit he is ill and his drugs make him forgetful and delusional.

The presidency grants such enormous powers as to be able to even sign the death warrant or commit a nation to war. So anytime those serious questions are being raised about the extent to which as a leader you will be conscious and alert, and will not be sedated as part of your cancer treatment, it is a legitimate question and should not be seen as mere political propaganda. Far from that, it should be seen within the safety and security of our nation and our people.

If the health status of the president were not important, it would not have been enshrined in the 1992 constitution that “the President shall be removed from office if he is found to be incapable of performing the functions of his office by reason of infirming of body and mind (Article 69;).

President John Atta Mills rode to the presidency on the back of moral uprightness, physical fitness and mental agility, and continues to make it an integral part of his campaign: in the light of the disclosure by Baba Jamal that he is indeed ill, his frightening poor performance so far and questionable mental capabilities, I find nothing wrong with the numerous calls on Professor Mills to go in for a through health check.

If it is discovered that he is ill and by his medication he cannot perform efficiently, he should ne worry, rather he should expedite action on the one time NHIS premium, pay his $5million one time premium and be assured that for the rest of his life, his medical bills be covered for by the state.

By the way, I am sure if the President were to grant prisoners conjugal rights, it would go a long way to reduce the incidence of homosexuality and lesbianism in our prisons. I can bet you the prisoners will prefer that to this silly idea of the president going from cell block to cell block to campaign to secure some votes. Candidly, when the President makes pronouncements like these before thinking through them, I cannot help but to ask myself one question: his “cancer treatment drugs”; do they make him high?

EFO YAO DAGADU
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Efo yao Dagadu
Efo yao Dagadu, © 2011

The author has 3 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: EfoyaoDagadu

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