Akufo-Addo, ministers abandon ‘beyond aid’ to attend funeral

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has tried to stay clear of the path travelled by his predecessors since he was sworn-in, but he is sliding slowly.

It’s common knowledge that past governments didn’t show much commitment to fulfilling promises made to Ghanaians. But this regime has proven a point by delivering on some of its key campaign promises.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has bolstered the confidence of citizens by rolling out major programmes such as the Free senior high school (SHS) education policy, planting for food and job, as well as the cancellation of some nuisance taxes introduced by the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

But while the commitment and enthusiasm that the president has shown the past 11 months are commendable, the creeping up of carelessness into the way he does things lately should be a matter of concern to us.

President Akufo-Addo outlined a major policy shift last week when he told the press during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron that his government will build a nation that is not dependent on the charity of the international community. It was bold, especially after the then John Mahama government’s proclivity for external handouts has left the country dejected.

His message caught on with Ghanaians and soon ‘Ghana beyond aid’ was no longer a mantra of the government, it has become the heartbeat of the entire nation. We all want Ghana to regain its position in the community of nations.

But days after the message, the president, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the 110 ministers gleefully abandoned government business, to compete for attention at the funeral of the late Asantehemaa.

It is pathetic to note that the funeral happened at a time students of Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) were dying but the government failed to respond swiftly when it was needed.

The health crisis at KUMACA led to the death of at least 11 people from March to December. This is unacceptable and Akufo-Addo deserves sharp condemnation for the tragic incident. He should be blamed.

But the funny thing is that when some Ghanaians complained about it, in the hope of reforming this government, some enablers of president Akufo-Addo threw a hissy-fit at them.

Rather than seeing critics as “nothing burger,” appointees of the president need to know that their action is a carafe of strychnine that poses an existential threat to the presidency. Complacency has been an all-time friend of politicians and often visits them when they think they have it all. The NPP currently thinks it has it all because it is in government, but time will tell.

Governments are formed to address the needs of the citizens and not the other way round and Akufo-Addo and his coterie must know this.

Ghana can only be beyond aid if the people and leadership get to work. You can’t wean yourself off aid by sitting down and partying while you are faced with threats. Students are dying and the president and his men have to be smart and think fast.

Ghana beyond aid isn’t Jollof or merrymaking, President Akufo-Addo has to sit up or sit down and get the necessary work done.



The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com

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