The NDC doomsday prophets started prophesying since the run-up to the 2000 general election. Candidate Kufuor had told Ghanaians that when voted into power, he will make sure the Cash and Carry health delivery system was scrapped. He said he saw no reason why people should die untimely simply because they did not have money to go to hospital. Candidate John Kufuor travelled down memory lane and told Ghanaians that since Ghana had her independence, successive governments made sure health delivery was free until the PNDC/NDC came to power to introduce the killer Cash and Carry.
In fact, during the electioneering campaign in 2000, Mr. Kufuor held his cards on his chest as to how he was going to do away with the Cash and Carry. The NDC wanted the man to show them how he was going to do away with the Cash and Carry since the system was institutionalized but Kufuor refused to put his cards on the table since he did not want them to see the number of aces he had among his cards. That was the mark of an astute politician. In those days, Candidates Fiifi Atta Mills of blessed memory went to Wa in the Upper West Region to campaign and during his speech he flew into tantrums and told his gullible listeners that anyone who will say he could do away with the Cash and Carry health delivery system was throwing dust into their eyes so they should not believe such a person because the person just wanted their votes. The crowd clapped, and danced to the “Eye Zu, Eye Za” campaign song.
Then the good people of Ghana voted for Mr. Kufuor to become the President of Ghana. Even before Kufuor was sworn in to hold the reins of power, NDC communicators were always on his neck to do away with the Cash and Carry health delivery system as he promised. They taunted and insulted the gentleman with some calling him a liar. In those days, the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Hospital in Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region had introduced a mutual health insurance way back in 1994 and it was functioning very well. Mr. Kufuor assembled a team of experts which included the scheme manager of the Nkoranza St. Theresa Hospital Mutual Health Insurance Scheme to brainstorm on the possibility of establishing a National Health Insurance Scheme in the country so that the killer Cash and Carry could be done away with immediately. That was how come the NHIS was introduced on pilot basis. In no time it became nationwide and many lives were saved until the same NDC came into power to run down the scheme.
History repeated itself in 2012 when candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo told Ghanaians that if he got the nod, he will introduce free SHS. Led by ex-president Mahama, the same doomsday prophets went to town and told whosoever cared to listen that it was not possible because even Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who came to meet money in the state coffers when the British left the shores of Ghana could only implement free education in only the two northern regions. They went further to question where the NPP will get money to implement free SHS. Candidate Akufo Addo became a laughing stock in the face of NDC communicators. They said because he wanted SHS students and their parents to vote for him, he was using that promise as a bait. Some of them even said anything free is not good and that people should disregard Nana Addo’s empty rhetoric. Because the free SHS became a major campaign message of the NPP, the NDC sent out their propagandists to bastardize the idea and called Nana many names which are not worth repeating here. But God has a way of doing things at the appropriate time. Nana Addo lost the election and bade his time. After all, did the sages not say he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day?
During the run-up to the 2016 electioneering campaign, candidate Akufo Addo stood on his grounds and repeated that if God willing he became the president of Ghana, the free SHS that he promised in 2012 will come into reality. That too did not go down well with the evil doomsday prophets. There was this idiot who went on air on one of the radio stations to say Nana Addo is living in his father’s mansion so he could not make SHS free. And that wee-smoking good for nothing ex-convict called Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe of the Montie 3 threw caution to the dogs and told Ghanaians during one of his idiotic pronouncements on air that Nana Addo could not educate his daughters so he could not say he was going to make SHS free. The guy did not know the pedigree of the four daughters of Nana Akufo Addo so he had the guts to make those stupid statements. In the face of all these vilifications and impudent snobs, Nana Addo kept his cool because they say only empty barrels make the most noise. (Anyway, where is Salifu Maase and his other two ex-convicts? You see how the NDC can destroy young men in Ghana with money and goodies?)
ENTER FREE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN GHANA
Before ex-president Mwai Kibaki of Kenya was voted into power in 2002, he campaigned that when the voters of Kenya voted him into power, he would introduce a free universal secondary school education in Kenya. The doubting Thomases in Kenya took him to the cleaners like they did to Nana Akufo Addo. They said the founding father of Kenya, the late President Jomo Kenya never dreamt of the idea not to talk of introducing it. When Mwai Kibaki had the nod to become the president in 2002 he immediately set in motion the introduction of free universal Secondary School education in Kenya. Barely fifteen years after the introduction of the programme, students of Kenya still enjoy Free Universal Secondary School education. If Kenya can sustain such a lofty idea, why can’t Ghana do same, a country that can boast of large deposits of Gold, Manganese, Bauxite, Diamond, Cocoa, Timber, Oil among others. So you see the absurdity in those doomsday prophets who say that the Free SHS will not be sustainable?
In 2007, Uganda under Yuweri Musseveni also introduced free universal Secondary School Education in Uganda, a country that cannot compare herself to Ghana as far as natural resources are concerned. It has been ten years since students of that country started enjoying Free Universal Secondary School Education. The idea of introducing Free Universal Secondary School Education is to give relief to the poor and marginalized communities to equally access secondary education.
If the introduction of a Free SHS, as it stands now, is to benefit only the wards of NPP supporters, I would have understood the NDC communicators who continue to kick against the idea. This is not a programme that can give room for selective justice. There are many poor folks in the NDC who cannot pay the school fees of their wards and at the same time we have similar folks in the NPP who cannot make ends meet not to talk of paying school fees of their wards in Senior High School. If a new regime is offering such opportunity for their wards to also get education in order to be useful citizens and employable in future, why kick against it? Only a witch will kick against this offer.
Free SHS means no admission fees, no library fees, no science center fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, no utility fees, there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals and above all, day students will eat one hot meal as lunch a day. PERFECT! The NDC communicators have become a laughing stock in the face of Ghanaians because of the adverse comments they made about the free SHS programme. For eight years, the NDC guys could not implement the scheme but Okudjeto Ablakwa, the internationally acknowledged pathological liar told Ghanaians that the NDC started free SHS with 10,000 students but what he doesn’t know is that no single parent can come out to say his or her ward had it free during the NDC era. In anyway, what kept them from implementing the programme for the eight years that they held the reins of power?.
The NPP is on the move and there is no turning back. The one district one factory will come to pass. The one village one dam will come to pass. The Planting for Food and Jobs will come to pass and the prices of petroleum products and utility tariffs will surely come down in due cause. And when all these among other campaign promises come to pass, I wonder what the NDC will say in 2020. Ex-president John Mahama cheekily told Ghanaians that they are forgetful. He did not know that some of us are walking encyclopedias. When ex-president Kufour decided to introduce the NHIS to replace the Cash and Carry, the NDC said it was not possible, we remember. They said it was not possible to make SHS free, we remember. They said Metro Mass Transit will turn out to be like the OSA public transport system and we also remember. So you see, we are not forgetful as the ex-president said. Good morning Mr. John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana and current leading aspirant for the NDC presidential primaries. We need more unity walks but at the end of the day it will surely turn out to be disunity walk. Help me say Amen!!!
From Eric Bawah