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11 December 2017 | Letters

Open Letter To President Akufo - Addo

Dr. Med. Edward Kwame Poku
President Nana Akufo- Addo
President Nana Akufo- Addo

The Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana

Mr. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Flagstaffhouse
Accra
GHANA
Lichtenfels, 25th December 2017
“Dear Mr President,
welcoming a great leader and congratulating him can never be too late !

So Your Excellency Mr. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo I say Akwaaba. Dasebre.”

A packet was sent to our President on 25th September 2017, containing a copy of the “Report of the African Commission's Working Group of Experts on Indigenous Populations/Communities” by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, as well as other items including immunization protocol from the company Glaxo Smith Kline. These items have apparently been stolen at the Flagstaffhouse. This immunization protocol from Glaxo Smith Kline contained apparently immunization against the infection of a dangerous influenza strain which apparently killed the children at the Kumasi Academy School. The President could not have done anything about this but I had expected that communication with the ministry of Health regarding the list of immunization protocols that I gave to the President there could have been at the cabinet level a discussion about the healthcare of our youth. I regret that this did not happen. It is therefore with great sorrow for my family and I to learn about the untimely death of some young students at the Kumasi Academy School which was apparently caused by infection of a dangerous influenza strain. My family and I wish to express our condolences to the families of the deceased.

In addition to the above mentioned copy of the African Commission’s Report were two catalogues from the company named Horizont from Germany which specializes among others, in road safety. I thought you might have needed these catalogues for the purpose of preventing high incidence of accidents on our roads.

Response from our President to this letter would be most welcome. Admittedly this is a most unusual form of correspondence, but unfortunately this indirect way of contacting our President is the only available means open to us.

Constitution Reform
The ethnic differences in our society must be accepted as a reality and all our actions should not ignore this fact.

One Prof. Fiadjoe once while advising Pres. Mills on Constitution Review said or wrote about “strengthening national culture”. This I find to be an unrealistic statement because Ghana has no “National Culture”, what we have are multiple, diverse ethnic cultures and traditions, which cannot be described as a National Culture.

I expect your new administration to strengthen the institutions and structures in the regions into full blown regional governments, each managing its own affairs.

I am hereby thinking of a devolution with each newly acquired Region having its own Parliament, Prime Minister and administering its own affairs. Security, health and other governmental affairs, just like in the UK.

I therefore suggest, Mr. President, that after your 4-year-period, there should be a 2-year transition period for preparing a reformed constitution. This means, you'll have in all 6 years, two years of which should be reserved for shaping a constitution which will lead to a full blown devolution.

There should be truly regional governments in all the newly created Regions, among which Ashanti must have its old status of a combined Ashanti and Ahafo as an entity, Brong retains its original Status, thereby doing away with the from Kwame Nkrumah artificially created Brong-Ahafo.

The idea of this reform is to make sure, that the various newly created regional governments compete with each other and through being self-reliant improve efficiency amongst themselve“Under the current 1992 constitutional arrangement, Art. 242, the District Assembly (non-partisan in nature) is the highest political authority in the district and consists of the following:

  1. One person elected by universal adult suffrage from each electoral area.
  2. The member or members of parliament from constituents that fall within the area of authority of the District Assembly (no voting power).
  3. The District Chief Executive of the district appointed by the President with executive powers (abuse of power!) and with previous approval of not less than 2/3 majority of the members of the assembly present voting at the meeting.
  4. Other members not being more than 30% of all the members of the District Assembly, appointed by the president in consultation with the traditional authorities and other interested parties in the district.”

On the 1st December 2017 Prof Kwesi Prempeh called for a constitutional review to limit president’s powers. The law professor, Prof. Kwesi Prempeh did call for a review of the 1992 constitution as it gives enormous power to the president without limitations.

Speaking at a high level panel discussion on the ongoing constitutional review exercise to examine the theoretical justifications for the review, progress and the regress, Prof. Prempeh said, Ghana’s 1992 constitution has become highly permissive, making it easier for politicians to take over, therefore, manipulating policies to their benefit.

Lately we have sadly observed horrible abuse of power by President John Dramani Mahama and his dealings with a Middle-Eastern company by name of AMERI.

The publication or general news of Tuesday, 14th Nov. 2017, published by Daily Guide Africa.com alleged that the Norwegian newspaper that is tailing former President John Dramani Mahama over his supposed links with Africa Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI) has indicated that the African Development Bank (AfDB) did not send President Mahama to Namibia, as claimed by him.

According to the award winning newspaper called VG Mr. Mahama had visited Namibian President Hage Geingob in Windhoek and falsely presented himself as an AfDB advocate for African energy self-sufficiency, but its investigation turned out that the continental bank does not have any hand in former president’s visit where he took AMERI to the Southern African country.

If this information is or should be correct,then I suppose the people of Ghana would be extremely grateful if Mr. Mahama would be stripped of his immunity and dealt with according to the law. What I would like to know is this: whether Ex-President Mahama considers himself an African or an Arab. And I would like to pose this question to most Ghanaians with Islamic faith. There seems to be ambiguity here. Are they Muslims, Africans, Islamist or what are they ? I consider every Ghanaian to be an African first and their religion second. Their loyalty therefore should be to Africa, that is why the group of Muslims who had a group photograph at the Flagstaffhouse should be warned not to repeat that mistake again. Their action was a foolish action because we do not expect any group of people to mix up religion with politics and governance.

It would have been a sign of solidarity if these Ghanaian Muslims had expressed their solidarity with the Africans who were humiliated in Libya be being sold as slaves. This is shocking.

At the same time I have to criticise President Akufo-Addo here, because in the said packet I sent our President a copy of a picture depicting Africans put into cages with Libyan green flags apparently depicting Africans as animals eating leafs. This was a shocking sight ! Whether because of this picture the letter to the President was stolen, I don't know. Maltreatment of Africans by Arabs is not a secret. I expect therefore our President to break relations with all Arab countries until they show remorse and apologise for ill-treatment of our race. Any African who does not acknowledge the humiliation inflicted on our race is a fool.

Another typical example of the abuse of the rights of the people is a statement made by President Akufo when on his visit to the Upper Region of Ghana he made the following pronouncement:

“The state resources will be equally distributed based on 1992 constitution.”

That means that irrespective of the productivity of the various Regions or the willingness of the people of the various Regions to work hard, he is going to stick to the constitution of 1992 and distribute the resources equally among the various regions. This is unacceptable to Ashantis. That means the Ashanti portion shall be in turn shared among the migrants from the north who have up to now occupied three quarters of the Ashanti capital and other ethnic groups in Ashanti with Ashantis. While relatively equal amount of the resources will still be going to those regions whose citizens have flocked into the Ashanti capital. Mathematically those migrants in Kumasi, namely the Fantis, the Ewes, the Northerners are going to share the resources meant for the Ashantis with the Ashantis. I would like to know from the President what portion of the distributed resource will be there for Ashantis and Ashantis alone.

Does the President now see the fallacy of the 1992 constitution ?

We, the People of Ashanti, do solemnly plea with the President of the Republic of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo, to reform the Ghana Constitution and replace it with one which reflects the true needs and aspiration of the Ashanti People since we have been cheated over a long period of sixty years. We plead for fairness and justice. Enough is enough, the Northerners should vote in their own homes in the north and the uncontrolled migration to the south, mainly to Kumasi, should be stopped.

Further examples of abuse due to the weakness in our constitution

About two weeks ago the Minister responsible for Zongo-Affairs has allegedly made comments, which as far as I am concerned are sickening. This gentleman is supposed to have said that Muslim women do not like to be examined by male doctors and that he suggested that the Government of Ghana should train female doctors whose duty will be solely treating Muslim women in Ghana.

In the first place, Ghana has no “Muslim women”. Secondly, in Ghana apart from foreigners, there are only Ghanaian women, who happen to be people of Islamic faith. Just as we have Ghanaians with Christian faith. This way of thinking by this Minister underlines what these so-called Muslim women and Muslim men feel about their role in the Ghanaian society.

They want everything but their contribution is zero. And their demands are totally unrealistic.

Another example:
Police shoots two armed robbers in self-defence in Kumasi and immediately the police in Ashanti Region is threatened with a law-suit by one Mr. Muntaka, minority leader in parliament. In the first place, by his looks, I suspect that this Mr. Muntaka is not a Ghanaian, but could be a Nigerian. If not, I apologize. But he must demonstrate that his parents are Ghanaians by birth and they should present their birth certificates to prove that they are Ghanaians. I expect this Mr. Muntaka to respect the Ghanaian constitution and that it is the Ashanti regional Minister who is responsible for Ashanti affairs and not him. He is only an MP and not a spokesperson for Ashanti affairs. For this reason and many other such interferences we plead with the government to come clean with a new constitution which places the Ashantis in their rightful place. We do not expect and want Northerners to plead for us. Failure to clarify this position could plunge the nation into a deadly civil war.

Ashanti is and will always be a sovereign nation within the newly or recently formed union of states of Ghana. No-one should usurp our rights and this constitution is doing just that. Enough is enough.

The Letter went on:
“Constitution Reform
The ethnic differences in our society must be accepted as a reality and all our actions should not ignore this fact.

One Prof. Fiadjoe once while advising Pres. Mills on Constitution Review said or wrote about “strengthening national culture”. This I find to be an unrealistic statement because Ghana has no “National Culture”, what we have are multiple, diverse ethnic cultures and traditions, which cannot be described as a National Culture.

I expect your new administration to strengthen the institutions and structures in the regions into full blown regional governments, each managing its own affairs.

I am hereby thinking of a devolution with each newly acquired Region having its own Parliament, Prime Minister and administering its own affairs. Security, health and other governmental affairs, just like in the UK.

I therefore suggest, Mr. President, that after your 4-year-period, there should be a 2-year transition period for preparing a reformed constitution. This means, you'll have in all 6 years, two years of which should be reserved for shaping a constitution which will lead to a full blown devolution.

There should be truly regional governments in all the newly created Regions, among which Ashanti must have its old status of a combined Ashanti and Ahafo as an entity, Brong retains its original Status, thereby doing away with the from Kwame Nkrumah artificially created Brong-Ahafo.

The idea of this reform is to make sure, that the various newly created regional governments compete with each other and through being self-reliant improve efficiency amongst themselves.

“Under the current 1992 constitutional arrangement, Art. 242, the District Assembly (non-partisan in nature) is the highest political authority in the district and consists of the following:

  1. One person elected by universal adult suffrage from each electoral area.
  2. The member or members of parliament from constituents that fall within the area of authority of the District Assembly (no voting power).
  3. The District Chief Executive of the district appointed by the President with executive powers (abuse of power!) and with previous approval of not less than 2/3 majority of the members of the assembly present voting at the meeting.
  4. Other members not being more than 30% of all the members of the District Assembly, appointed by the president in consultation with the traditional authorities and other interested parties in the district.”

Examples of nepotism by presidents, e.g. late President Mills

  1. Chapter 5 - §17 (1) and (3) which states that all people shall be equal before the law.
  2. A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.

For the purpose of this article “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective description by race, place of origin, political opinion, etc., etc.

On the contrary, both leading parties while taking advantage of the fact that in the regional and district levels citizens are by law deprived of their basic right to vote, they cheat by marginalising specific ethnic groups in order to prevent them from fully participating in the governing of the country.

Mills' Examples of Ethnocentrism

  1. Dr. Kofi Awoonor, Chairman, Council of State (Ewe)
  2. Victor Gbeho, Senior Policy Advisor,

who single-handedly sacked more than two dozen Akan Foreign Officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the transition period (Ewe)

  1. Alex Segbefia, Deputy Chief of Staff (Ewe)
  2. Bebaako Mensah, Secretary to the President (Ewe)
  3. Koku Anyidoho, Communication Director.
  4. Kofi Wampak,First Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana (Ewe)
  5. General Arnold Quanoo, Special Assistant to the President (Ewe)
  6. Brigadier General Wallace Gbedema (rtd) Special Assistant to the President (Ewe)
  7. Gbvelo Lartey, National Security Coordinator (Ewe)
  8. Kosivi Degbor, Deputy National Security Coordinator (Ewe)
  9. Yaw Donkor, Director, Bureau of National Investigations (Ewe)
  10. Biadela Morley Akpazi, Executive Director, Serious Fraud Office (Ewe)
  11. Juliana Mensah Azuma, Minister of Tourism (Ewe)
  12. Akua Densua, former MP for North Dayi, Minister of Women & Children Affairs (Ewe)
  13. Joe Gidisu, Minister of Road and Highways (Ewe)
  14. Ludwig Hlordze, Minister of State/Office of the President (Ewe)
  15. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information (Ewe)
  16. Chris Kpodo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Ewe)
  17. Madam Dzifa Aku Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transportation (Ewe)
  18. Ford Henry Kamel, MP Biakoye, Deputy Minister of Land and Mineral Resources (Ewe)
  19. Elvis Efriyie Ankra from Akatsi, Deputy Minister of Local Government.

As if this was not enough Mills has packed various State Agencies and quasi government corporations with the following 'TEAM B' or 'BOOT LICKERS':

  1. Charles A Darku, Chief Executive of The Ghana Grid (Electricity Corporation and VRA)
  2. Salas Mensah, Executive Secretary, The Revenue Agencies Governing Board
  3. Kwame Ampofo defeated MP, South Dayi, managing Director, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)
  4. Kofi Pottophy, who visited Kufuor's house and threatened to pull it down, National Disaster Management Operation
  5. Michael Kofi Bansah, Director of Prison Service
  6. John Kudalor, Deputy Chief of Police, Director of Police of Ghana Police Service
  7. Kwadwo Owusu Agyeman from Kete Krachi, Executive Secretary of Ghana Export Promotion Council
  8. Justice Amegashie, Driving Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)
  9. Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Scheme
  10. Professor Albert Fiadjoe, Chairman, Constitutional Review Committee
  11. Naval Captain Kwadjo Butah, Board Chairman, Ghana Trade Fair Company
  12. Professor John Bright Kwabla Aheto, Chairman, National Media Commission
  13. Kojo Ablodepey, Chairman, Ghana Tourist Development Company
  14. Mr. Senam Kuagbenu, Executive Director of National Service Scheme.

The following are Atta Mills' Trokosi Board of Directors to various state institutions:

  1. William Tevie, Member, National Communication Authority
  2. Bridget Katsriku, Public Service Commission
  3. James Avedzi, Member, Ghana Revenue Board
  4. Rosa Kudoazi, Vice Chair, Ghana Investment Promotion Center
  5. Agbesi Kwadwo Dzakpasu, Board Member, Ghana Investment Promotion Center
  6. Stephen Ahor, Board Member, National Investment Bank
  7. Nana Nprah Busumuru, chief from Kete Krachi, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)
  8. Group Captain Michael S.K. Dordor, Chairman, Board of Ghana Water Company Limited
  9. Lt.Col. Edward E. Fiawoo, Board Member, Divestiture Implementation Committee
  10. Edem Kpodor, Chairman, Ghana Tourist Board
  11. Lt.Col. (rtd) Yaw Dzotefe Mensah, Ghana Tourist Board
  12. Kwabla D. Senanu, Member, Serious Fraud Office
  13. Capt. (rtd) K.P. Fiadoo, Member, Narcotic Control Board
  14. Mr. Degbor, Member, Narcotic Control Board
  15. Robert Kwami, Member, Narcotic Control Board
  16. Rev. Dr. Deegbe, Board Member, Narcotic Control Board
  17. Emmanuel Zumakpeh, Member, National Vocation Training Institute
  18. David Dorkenoo, Board Member, National Vocation Training Institute
  19. Regina Mawusi Yovonoo, Board Member, State Insurance Corporation
  20. Sylvia Ahulu, Board Member, Ghana Supply Commission
  21. Thomas F.K. Senya, Board Member, State Housing Corporation
  22. Biadelah Mottey Akpadzi, Board Member, Micro-Finance and Small Loan Center
  23. Hon. Joe Gidisu, MP, Chairman, Road Fund Management Board
  24. Ms Bemice Day Kumah, Member, National Museums and Monuments Board
  25. Emmanuel K. Ave, Member, Postal and Courier Services Regulatory
  26. Mr. Napoleon Azumah, Member, Road Fund Management Board
  27. Mr. Stanislav Xoese Dogbe, Member, Ghana Publishing Corporations
  28. Mr. Frank Yao Badohu, Member, GIHOC Distilleries
  29. Mrs. Marian Bamor, Member, Presidential Committee on Emolument
  30. Koku Anyidoho (Head, Communications) Member, Presidential Committee on Emolument
  31. Amma De Souza, Board Member, Presidential Committee on Emolument
  32. Nicholas A. Gbekor-Kove, Board Member, Ghana Meteorological Agency
  33. Dr. Kwami Ameza,Board Member, Irrigation Development Agency
  34. Mawuli Adjei, Chairman, Ghana Institute of Languages
  35. Carl Wilson, Chairman, Confiscated Car Committee – Car Jacking syndicate
  36. Justice Isaac Duose, Chairman of [email protected] Probe Commission
  37. Brigadier General G Partington, Head of the Army, Director General (Joint Operation)
  38. Col. D.K. Mishio, Deputy Director General (Joint Operation)
  39. Christian Eden Kobla Dovlo, Commandant Kofi Anan International peacekeeping Training Center promoted Air Marshall
  40. Brigadier General Marin Gamiel Ahiaglo, General Officer commanding Southing Command of the Ghana Army
  41. Brigadier General Quist, Director General Personnel Administration
  42. Colonel J.K. Klobodu, Director General, Planning and Development
  43. Colonel B.K. Klu, Director, Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
  44. Commodore Bierko, Chief of Staff, General Headquarters
  45. Air Commander C.G. Gamadeku, Chief of Staff, Air Force Headquarters.

This cannot go on like that any more. This must STOP.

They talk of strong central government, deprive the people in the regions of their natural rights to vote thus weakening the region and then suddenly the top jobs are shared among themselves.

Where was Rawlings all these years, when the Ewes and now the Northerners shared everything among themselves.

In addition to the extensive list mentioned above, the Ewe minority is to be found everywhere, at the airport, at the universities, Rawlings made unqualified people Doctors etc. Professors even though they were unqualified. I know of a case where someone with secondary school certificate became a professor. At the airports, hospitals, 37th Military Hospital, Supreme Court, Council of State. No wonder Ghana is broke. I agree with Mr. Osafo-Maufo, those who contribute less to the economy take the most advantages. Please, Mr. President, we need devolution NOW !

The Volta voting exercise is a mockery of the labour of voters in Ghana. This must stop !

This is a cheat of the highest order, because we miss the much talked about “ethnic balance” in the distribution of jobs. Better still, devolution like UK parliamentary system is the only solution. Look at Akyem, where my ancestors come from and Kwaku, where my cousin is the Obo-Hene.

These areas shall remain backward, without devolution !

We should eliminate dependency on the central government and create credible competition in the country – a true self-reliance.

The central government shall be weakened and regional government shall be strengthened and you shall be until the end of your life, the Constitutional Head of Ghana, a very qualified and loving one.

For instance, if one looks at Great Britain we have Scottish National Party for Scotland, the Prime Minister is Scottish, in Wales you have the Welsh party Plyd Cymri, the Prime Minister is a Welsh man. Why can't we have the same system in Ghana ?

We should not dream that the ethnic differences do not exist, that the bias and animosity do not exist. I think, we must learn to change.

Please allow me to remind you of what Tony Blair once said:

“The World is on the move again. The change in the early 21st century is even greater than that of the late 20th century. So now in turn we have to change again and step up to a new mark a changing world is setting for us.

Blair asked the rhetorical question, so what is the challenge ?

Answering it is that change is marching on again. The pace of change can either overwhelm us or make our lives better and our country stronger. What we cannot do is pretend it is not happening.”

Transfers in the civil service should be considered as a matter of the past. Maybe in the colonial time, this was OK, but in today's Ghana it is totally irrelevant and uneconomical. If we do introduce the regional governments through the process of devolution, then the various regions and regional governments should be able to make sensible decisions which will help save a lot of money in their economy. It should be expected that each regional government will have its own civil service and thus transfers should not be necessary, since the civil servants will come from that region.

In addition: A civil servant from a particular region, e.g. Ho, must make a decision whether he wants to be a tenant or build his own house. It should not be the duty of the government to provide him with accommodation.

I conclude that transfers should be stopped, providing accommodation for government employees should be stopped for all civil servants. People should live as civil servants in their places of origin, thereby contributing effectively for the development of the place. Loans should be guaranteed for civil servants to build their own modern homes in those areas where they come from. Simply imagine how simple life would be for all.

There should be active governments which invest in people in their respective regions and it is directly answerable to them for their actions. This is real democracy. At present the gap between the Central Government, which sits in a far distant region and the governed is too great. This leads to loopholes and lack of competition which results in corruption. More and more people feel alienated from politics. Public bodies are not sufficiently held responsible for their actions. This leads to nepotism and sheer theft.

Mr. President, the previous President Rawlings my own brother in law and Kufuor, should have no role to play in your government. They had their time and wasted them.

The low-wage “Third World” labour must close their ranks like proper West-African Union, but not Economic Union, but proper Union leaving no loopholes for strange Western Economies to exploit.

To name them:

  1. Angola,
  2. Namibia,
  3. Cameroon,
  4. Niger,
  5. Nigeria,
  6. Burkina Faso,
  7. Togo,
  8. Ghana,
  9. Ivory Coast,
  10. Benin, Liberia,
  11. Senegal/Gambia,
  12. Sierra Leone.

In other words, we should form Union State of West African States and importantly with an effective common army similar to West African Frontier Force during the Second World War. This entity should have its own common foreign policy, economic policy, defence policy, educational policy and all these policies should be coherent.

Presently, we have a haphazard situation where the French are everywhere, being helped by the Germans, e.g. in Mali, the Americans are in the Niger, Boko Haram is in Nigeria, the French are in Cameroon, the Germans are in Namibia and I ask myself, where are we Africans ?

These are serious problems that must be solved, Mr. President.

Central African Republic is in turmoil, DR-Congo is unstable, Uganda is an American Outpost, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso also French, where are we ?

Lately the Americans are again in East Africa, followed by the Turks, the Chinese (buying fertile land in Africa) and the UAR. What do we do ?

We have been sleeping and Africa has slowly been occupied. This is because those leaders who saw this re-colonization coming have been eliminated (leaving no legacy behind), namely Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ben-Bella, Nasser, Sekou-Toure Sankara, Lumumba.

That is why we have to revisit our policy towards the Arabs, not towards Islam, because they are hideously trying to take over all African lands.

Why do I mention this topic here ? Because I wish to caution you about foreign politics.

Experience should warn us to do things in secrecy, if we do not want to end up like Ghaddafi. We shall write extensively about this, if I do have the honour and opportunity to write to you. It will be entitled the Strategy to Unite and Defend our Ghana.

Such a Union of States should form in turn an Economic Union with South Africa. To form the Union of States of West Africa shall require a new Name for the psychological aspect of politics. To bring about such a political union, we shall require immediately measures that will facilitate the strong and unshakeable foundation.

One of them is student exchange programmes, sports among the individual states, trade, religious tolerance where Africans will and shall remain Africans but have diverse religious beliefs.

Beliefs though should not replace the African Identity like its practised in the Islam Religion. This Religion has endeavoured to make Africans Arabs. We are not.

Arabs are Arabs and Africans are Black Africans: We cannot be expected to be metamorphosed to become White Arabs who treated us and still treat us as slaves. This type of Muslim we don't want in Africa, that's why millions of Ghanaians protested vehemently when the Vice President brought his religious compatriots to the Flagstaffhouse. This was a grave mistake. Religion and politics should not be mixed in Africa.

The Muslims of Ghana have a choice, either politically they are Ghanaians or religiously they are Muslims. There is for instance no prohibition of intermarriage in Ghana and Vice President Bawumia must know this. You cannot be a Ghanaian and refuse to marry a Ghanaian on religious reasons. It does not work that way.

This is an issue that must be resolved.
On corruption, dear Mr. President, I will start on commenting on what John Perkins wrote in his book “Economic Hitman”. Perkins writes that “there are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars”. It makes a good read, but we have had our own experience of how ministers, judges and attorney-generals fall prey to these hyenas and help dupe Ghana out of trillions of dollars.

Change – Your Policies

  1. It should be coherent
  2. On a reformed constitution which is watertight, guarantees true freedom for every citizen of our country
  3. promotes regional competition and helps initiate creativity, innovation and prevents unnecessary migration from North to South.
  4. Religion: There will be freedom of religion. Abuse in religion should be deterred by law. There should be separation of church and government.
    Religious holidays shall be enjoyed only by the relevant religions. No greetings by Heads of State of another religion.

Mobilization of any religious organization to vote for a particular party should be banned.

All religious organizations in our country can practice freely their faith and they should be exempted from paying taxes as long as they can prove their accordance to international standards and engage in welfare – this includes Muslims.

Zongos
I am against Zongo formations, because we should rather encourage integration and not segregation. While we recognise the right of freedom of movement, we should encourage integration of our people and not segregation. We shall not encourage ghettos and ghetto formation.

The Presidents Zongos policy was born out of political consideration which a reformed constitution will no more be necessary …

Who is to pay for the utility bills of the Zongo tenants ?

How will their mobility going to look, their education, transportation, to prevent environmental degradation, who is to pay for all that ?

Zongos should be banned, because everywhere Zongos are, they eventually turn to be ugly slums !

We want one Ghana, one people, diverse tradition and cultures. Each Region, a self-governing Region, must create its own jobs, by using its own resources available to them by nature. The central government can subsidise but not replace own efforts. A situation, where migrated youth, riding motorbikes, causing havoc in Kumasi, must be stopped by an Ashanti government by Ashanti people.

Migration of people from the North to the detriment of the Northern economy must be stopped. This is called urbanisation. This is when people want to find a new life in the south. Most migrants are young adults, often not educated in family planning. Lack of public services and utilities, electricity, schools, hospitals, clean water – no wonder increase in Cholera infections.

Skills and Institutions
Vocational training prepares workers or learners for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and related to specific trade, occupation or vocation. It covers a wide range of subject areas and tends to be more hands-on than academic qualifications might be.

Our world is changing fast and we need more skill than ever before. 2 out of 3 jobs in future will require a higher level of skill and better qualification.

We reckon each region will have to train 350.000 young people (costing billions) in boarding schools and state of the art institutions. The curriculum will have to be worked out by each Region. This will help reduce migration and thus make “Zongos” irrelevant.

The filth in the cities will thus be reduced. After completion of their skills in Tamale, Bolgatanga, Kumasi, Takoradi, Accra etc. we shall create sort of PWD, where young people could do their apprenticeships.

At this juncture, the Union of West-African States should demand from European exporting countries to invest in our various countries by creating jobs in light and heavy industry, automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical (joint ventures) and in fact everything that the countries import from toothpaste to soap should be manufactured.

We should close the loopholes by letting them do deals with individual countries. Our unity of purpose will determine the degree of success.

Street trading should be stopped but by friendly persuasion and presentation of alternative means.

Carrying heavy and light loads on the head should be a thing of the past.

Solution

  1. prior enforced organisation of the traders
  2. Making the heads of the trader and selling new ideas to them e.g. new mini-shops, mini-restaurants and hygienic means to deliver the goods or through series of meetings and friendly persuasion.
  3. creating of restaurants and shops all over the country and neighbouring union countries
  4. seamstress and shops selling made in Ghana

Regional governments in Ghana would be helped to employ these young people.

Contracts from Ghana should only go to Ghanaian companies, but important thing is the ability to certify quality work done by Ghanaian workers.

This is the German secret of success. The government-guaranteed loans but set up conditions under which work-ethics will be performed. Quality control from the beginning all the way.

These Ghanaian companies will have to have their work controlled by excellent foreign experts. Our local contractors must satisfy certain basic requirements, before securing contracts. I am prepared to help Osofoba Adjoa Safo by recommending competent experts to control any work done by a Ghanaian. The expert advisers will have to be anonymous. This is the checks and balances we will badly need.

21st Century Health Care in Ghana
We should put people first in our health care. In order to pursue the 21st century health care in Ghana, we must adopt what the advisory commission on consumer protection and quality in the health care industry in the United States recommended in 1998.

Recommendations in General

  1. All health care organisations, professionals groups and private and public purchasers should adopt as their explicit purpose to continually reduce the burden of illness, injury and disability and to improve the health and function of the People of Ghana.
  2. All health care organizations, professionals, private and public purchasers should pursue six major aims:
    1. Health care should be safe,
    2. should be effective,
    3. should be patient-centred,
    4. timely
    5. efficient and
    6. equitable.

    Progress must be constantly assessed by creation of a National Quality Report.

    Local efforts to implement innovation and achieve improvement through simple rules.

    Care based on continuous healing relationship that means 24 hours a day, every day.

    The care must be designed to meet the patients' needs.

    Shared information with patients.
    Evidence-Based decision-making should be focused on disability adjusted life-years (DALYs).

    Safety as a system property.
    Transparency.
    Using information technology and internet.
    In the regions, we have to have regional health care financing administration and a special agency for health care research and quality with input from private payers.

    Increase in chronic conditions and changing mortality patterns should be taken into account.

    Mental health should be taken seriously.
    PAY - Structure
    There is bound to be wide variations in the pay of GPs throughout Ghana. Regional governments must take advice from various doctors and dentists review bodies.

    SALARIED
    Pays must be specified by GMA, and not by the government. All doctors must have contracts with the administration of the hospitals they are working for.

    The basis of the pay should be hourly rates. Doctors or junior doctors should work 8 hours daily with 30 minutes break for lunch.

    Consultants should be paid consultant fees, should be given 30 beds in the hospital where they are directors as private practice. They in turn should be on duty for emergencies in case the junior doctors go on strike.

    Consultants thus though employed should be allowed to do private work but only in the hospital they are employed, e.g. insurance examinations and reports, private medical examinations.

    Checks and Balances
    The complaints procedure in general practice and in the hospitals

    1. Local resolution
    2. Independent review
    3. Ombudsman
    4. Disciplinary procedures

    The structure of the Health System
    Dept. of Health

    1. Social services
    2. Public Health GP
    3. Executive agencies
      1. Medical devices
      2. Medicine control
      3. Health Authority Estates
      4. Pensions
      5. Purchasing and supply

      The health system shall be an autonomous body running as business with CEO, etc.

      Ministry of Health should have nothing to do with it, except for matters relating to Public Health.

      All other issues of Health should be fully decentralised, e.g. University hospitals, Nursing,.etc.,etc..

      There shall be Health Services Agencies in

      • Ashanti Region (+ Ahafo)
      • Brong (Ahafo)
      • Upper West- and -East
      • Northern Region
      • Central- and Western Region
      • Volta Region

      All the regions shall be autonomous in all decisions about Health, including the need for Health Posts, Hospitals, Training of nurses, doctors, specialists.

      The Central Government in Accra should have nothing to do with decision in various regional centres.

      Transfers of health workers shall be abolished.
      In Scotland for instance you have Minister of Health and Community Care.

      • Management Executive
      • Health boards
      • Trusts, Acute Hospital Trusts
      • Primary Care Trust

      It should be up to Volta Region to plan their Health System as they deem fit. The usual budget support from the Central Government should be given to them.

      This is where development starts.
      All hands-on-deck attitude. No begging the Central Government and no thanking the Central Government for doing their job!

      1. Care for the most vulnerable and the seniors and juniors and infants shall be free.
      2. Care for the mentally handicapped and mentally ill shall be free.
      3. We shall introduce “Health on Wheels”, Testing for Glaucoma, Blood pressure checks, Blood sugar testing, minor surgery, wound treatment, driving to remote villages.
      4. Entrance exams for trained nurses shall be abolished. Exit exams shall be only practical exams. These nurses shall man remote centres.
      5. Dentists on wheels to help the rural folk.
      6. Helicopters to transport emergencies to nearby hospitals.
      7. 24-hours pharmacy shops open – with police protection.
      8. Ambulance service with well-trained paramedicals, not paediatricians.
      9. These measures should be started immediately our Flagbearer is elected as the President.
      10. We recognise that conveying the sick to the hospitals should be a problem because of traffic jams. It is therefore important to start the skill training to help de-congest the cities.
      11. The economic activities must be dispersed into other rural centres. This is important!

      Re-structuring the Health Care System

      1. National Health Insurance system in Ghana shall be abolished. Free medical care shall be introduced for all.
      2. Creation of medical Centres for diagnostic purposes could be privately owned.
      3. Immunisation.
      4. Treatment of acute malaria.
      5. Treatment of anaemia and its related blood transfusions.
      6. Screening for BPH, Glaucoma.
      7. Creation of Medical Academy where weekend Master-Classes should take place (mandatory).
      8. Essential drugs can be cheaply produced in the country and joint ventures with neighbouring countries should be our goal.
      9. Emergency rooms at the airport.
      10. 153 dentists for 24 million people is a shame, so train more dentists.
      11. We need to train more Psychiatrists.
      12. Hospital wards shall not be big halls like in WW II.

      Because there is a lot to be done there must be division of labour. There must be proper decentralisation where all these measures mentioned above could be dealt with by the regional elected ministers efficiently.

      So far, nothing has happened. The people are being choked in inefficiency.

      This list of what I have described above is quite impressive. The Public Health aspect should be tackled by the Ministry of Health of each region. This is democracy at work.

      Pharmacists in Private Practice
      Registered pharmacists and no one else should deal in pharmaceuticals. The pharmacists should be assisted by pharmaceutical technical assistants who should be well trained and certified after a 3-year course to work in the pharmacies. They all shall wear white overalls with their name tag or badge for identification.

      All the pharmacy shops should satisfy new governmental specifications and pharmacists should be helped to get a loan for purpose-built shops – state-of-the-art. They should be made liable for prosecution if any fake drugs are found in their stores.

      They should have to liaise with Food and Drug Administration to ensure the quality of the drugs on sale.

      Those working in hospitals should have to satisfy the requirements of the individual hospitals.

      Grants for the Health System

      1. Each region gets so-called block grants.
      2. These are not related to need but can be spent as they choose.
      3. The funding in each region must relate to their expenses. This however must be justified.
      4. There must be divergence.
      5. The objective of the government should be to improve the environmental condition and thus improve Public Health.
      6. Public latrines and sewerage system shall be dealt with. Underground sewage treatment plants shall be introduced.

      Markets
      The status or our markets, especially their environmental credentials are poor. Newly designed, state-of-the-art markets are overdue. The markets should be constructed to include modern toilets sunshades, refrigerators, etc., etc.. The Quality of food especially of the meat we eat must be examined by Health officers.

      The storage of food and the disinfection of hands that handle food must be considered. This is nation building.

      Housing

      1. All newly built houses should have to have photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.
      2. It should be possible for the Regional Governments to subsidise them.
      3. If everything from building material up to the structure and other systems could be produced in Ghana, we can locally produce with our trained young men descent housing all over the country.
      4. It should therefore be in the interest of the government in association with Dept. of Architecture at U.S.T. to develop affordable and beautiful structures locally.
      5. Government should never let outside firms get contracts in Ghana at the expense of our own real estate companies.

      Substructure and foundation – norms and standards.

      • Structural building materials.
      • Complete structural systems.
      • Cladding including bricks.
      • Roofing.
      • Doors and windows.
      • Drainage and rainwater hoods.
      • Fixers, filters and finishes.

      Tourism
      Tourism shall be high on the agenda.
      We shall require a clean environment.
      Adverts on the overseas TV, e.g. CNN, RT, BBC, SKY. It's worth it.

      The various Regional Governments must take advantage of the opportunity tourism creates for their economy. We expect Regional Governments to stand and fight for their people with creative ideas to earn money for their regions.

      Farmers
      Cocoa farmers must not be obliged to sell their products to Cocoa Marketing board. They must reap what they sow. Other commodities like coffee and tea should be encouraged as export commodities. The advantages of farming creating jobs should not be underestimated. Regional Ministries of Agriculture should be responsible for matters affecting agricultural products in their region.

      Military and Police
      There shall be Regional Police answerable only to Regional Prime Minister. Members shall solely be from the ethnic group of the region, for simplicity and efficiency sake. Accommodation shall not be provided. This is a colonial legacy. Financial incentive for accommodation shall be paid.

      With the Military, only the ethnic groups of the region shall be stationed in that region e.g. Ewe soldiers in Volta Region, etc., etc.

      Our Military shall be termed Peoples' Defence Force and should concentrate on air, land and sea defence of our soil. Alliances and partnerships shall be sought with neighbouring African countries to reduce procurement costs.

      Other matters like

      • drug addiction
      • HIV – Aids
      • Hepatitis infection

      these are Public Health issues for the Minister of Health of the various regions to deal with.

      Drug Misuse and Dependence

      1. Clinical Governance
        1. Principles of clinical governance
        2. doctors training
        3. non-medical prescribing
        4. confidentiality involving patients and carers

        Essential Elements of Treatment

        1. assessment, planning care and treatment
        2. delivery of treatment
        3. drug treatment
        4. drug testing

        Psycho-Social component of Treatment

        1. principles of psychosocial intervention etc.

        Pharmacological Interventions

        1. prescribing
        2. introduction onto methadone and buprenorphine treatment
        3. supervised consumption
        4. opioid maintenance prescribing
        5. detox

        Health Consideration

        1. blood-borne infection
        2. preventing drug-related deaths
        3. alcohol
        4. diazepam dependence
        5. tobacco

        This information is based on clinical guidelines on the treatment of drug abuse in the U.K.

        We shall introduce this to Ghana to save our young people from addiction deaths. In Ghana, the newly formed Public Health should deal with HIV-infections, Hepatitis A, -B, -C infections, Hep. E infection. We shall make it a responsibility of the General Practitioner, GP, to provide medical services for drug misusers. That is why GP-position and function should be reviewed and upgraded. Drug related overdoses must be prevented.

        • Pensions
        • Poverty reduction
        • Macro/Micro economy
        • The Private Sector
        • Land
        • Forests
        • Mining
        • Manufacturing
        • Industrialisation
        • Training and Capacity building are for Regional Governments to deal with.
        • Full Citizenship for Ghanaians in the Diaspora.
        • Creative Industrial Design Schools (e.g., Deutscher Werkbund, founded 1907, was a German state sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass production techniques to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the USA. This is applied arts and applied science.) We must start immediately.
        • Packaging Companies (collaborative technology company, designing and manufacturing top quality folding cartons and boxes for consumer products)
        • Help for the Elderly, people above 60 years, especially those with meagre pensions and those with no pensions at all. Also, free health care and transportation costs.
        • We need Research Institutes for various sciences.
        • Transplantation Medicine must be encouraged.

        Creating and Sustaining Jobs
        I think that in most respects the battle for the continuing salience of social justice as a political ideal has been won in Ghana, in that all political parties in Ghana are committed to policies which are underpinned by an appeal to social justice. However, its one thing to accept the principles of social justice and another to practise it. Maybe this has not been possible in Ghana because of that bad constitution we have. A constitution that virtually gives a tacit support, directly or indirectly, to ethnocentrism, is not helpful. We would like to remind at this junction all our readers about the fate of our people all over the world because of the colour of our skin.

        Some time ago, in Libya, black people were caged and leaves were put into their mouths to simulate animals. We are supporting ill-treatment of our people abroad, if we practice ethnocentrism in our own country.

        Our policy should be we shall guarantee the basic human rights of every citizen of our country in Ghana and abroad. We should not underestimate the devastating social and economic consequences of people not having confidence in us as a ethnicity and us as a people. This is one of the reasons why I am asking for a reform of the structure of our constitution simply to empower the people and I mean all the people.

        The factors that lead to re-emergence of social justice include intellectual changes, institutional changes, developmental changes and a concern with the perceived consequences of a lack of concern with social or distributive justice.

        Simply imagine the number of people in the villages who need health care and cannot afford it.

        Simply think of the many mentally handicapped, people dying from Malaria, Cholera, hypertension and prostrate cancer.

        I have talked of devolution and not federation. I did this because of love of our country, not because of indulgence of selfishness.

        I feel our people must be empowered and once and for all be responsible for their fate. The cries for help coming from various regions and sometimes envy exhibited by those who think other regions are being preferred should stop.

        Sincerely Yours,
        Dr. Kwame Poku
        A letter written by Dr. med. Edward Kwame Poku, Consultant Physician Specialist, Tulpenstr. 14, D-35104 Lichtenfels, Germany

        Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Dr. Med. Edward Kwame Poku and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

quot-img-1We live in a generation where the beast has more dignity than the human race.

By: Amegah W. quot-img-1
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