I am amazed at the political dexterity and ring craft of Mrs Lordina Mahama. I am not noted for showering praises on political leaders. But, I will need to break traditional protocol by stating, “bravo to Mrs Lordina Mahama for saving the day for country, party, family, husband and the NDC party.”
Why am I praising the First Lady?
She broke the Oppositon politician’s ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT…… Thou Shalt Not Support Thy Husband
I attended the NDC Campaign launch last Sunday, and I came away in awe of the political dexterity and ring craft of the First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama. Within a few minutes of chatting with the founder of the NDC, Chairman Rawlings, Lordina managed to convince him to abandon his characteristic “boom’ speech at NDC functions.
May be she told Chairman Rawlings that he has a right to speak his mind. But as a founder, he should respectfully be mindful of when, where, and how he delivered his speeches.
Chairman Rawlings capitulated. When called to address the crowd, the NDC founder whose popular style of lambasting his party has endeared him to the opposition NPP revealed that the First Lady Lordina Mahama approached him soon after he took his seat on the platform and wanted to know if he was going to ‘boom”.
“So is this why you came to sit next to me?” he said laughing.
Like a benevolent father, Chairman Rawlings granted Lordina Mahama her wish: “I will reserve what I have to say till after the elections”, former President Rawlings said in deference to the First Lady,
I salute you, Mrs Mahama. Your husband, party, and nation owes you gratitude. If you wish to know the significance of what Lordina did, you will need to carefully analyze the media discussions and commentaries on the NDC campaign launch from Monday.
The screaming headlines were absent!!!
Yes. Chairman Rawlings, founder of the NDC was there and addressed the crowd. Yet, his speech disappointed especially elements in the main opposition party (NPP) and their media friends, because they could not get any punchy speaking points.
The opposition elements needed a scapegoat for their disappointment.
I realized with amazement that the opposition NPP in particular picked on the First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama for blame for the colourless speech of Chairman Rawlings.
Nana Akomea, NPP Communication Director took serious issues with Lordina Mahama when he spoke to Okay FM, on Monday morning. “Why did Lordina [Mahama] beg President Rawlings? Why?” Nana Akomea fumed.
Suddenly, it seems to me that Lordina Mahama has broken an ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT written by the New Patriotic Party to wit: THOU SHALT NOT HELP THY HUSBAND!
What exactly did Lordina do wrong? According to Nana Akomean and other NPP bigwigs, Lordina Mahama begged Chairman Rawlings not to make any of his characteristic inflammatory statements at the program.
Some have even said that it was President John Mahama who used his wife to stop Chairman Rawlings from giving a boom speech, that is why the NDC founder said he will reserve his boom speech till after the December 7 election.
Why do we all say behind (or is it beside) every successful man is a woman?
I was inside the Cape- Coast Stadium last Sunday during the campaign launch. I watched the first lady gracefully walk by her husband as president Mahama acknowledged cheers of the crowd in the stadium.
I watched carefully as she humbly and graciously greeted and hugged Chairman Rawlings and sat dutifully by her husband.
I watched carefully when Sir Kofi Portuphy who was seated to the right of the First Lady leaned over her to have a chat with President Mahama.
I watched carefully how she gave her seat to Sir Portuphy and took the latter’s seat by Chairman Rawlings.
I remember very well that this was not the first time the first lady swapped her seat. At the November, 2015 Kumasi Congress to elect John Mahama as the NDC flag bearer for the 2016 election, Lordina swapped seats to enable president Mahama have a tete-a-tete with Chairman Rawlings
I watched carefully as the first lady engaged in what appeared to me to be a lovely and lively chat because I noticed Chairman Rawlings smiled often.
I wondered what the two were chatting about. May be, they were chatting about how Chairman Rawlings is able to balance his roles as founder of NDC and his support for Ezanator, NDC parliamentary Candidate for Korle-Klotey and the presidential ambition of former First lady and current presidential aspirant of the New Democratic Party.
Then, to my amazement, Chairman Rawlings revealed what the First Lady had been discussing.
“Bravo Lordina,” I said.
I wish Nana Akomea and his NPP bigwigs can pause and re-flect on the following questions: What are wives for? Are they not for supporting and standing by their husbands? What roles are Yvonne Nduom and Rebecah Akuffo Addo playing on their husbands’ campaign trails?
I remember Mrs Yvone Nduom telling the Daily Guide of her unalloyed support for her husband, Paa Kwesi Nduom, a presidential candidate:
”I am totally in support of my husband…we've known each other for a long time. I believe totally in him and he believes in me… I used to hate politics and would rather have my peace and quiet. I almost did not marry my husband because of politics. However, I have grown to learn that if a country does not do well, it is not the bad people who make it not to do well. It is rather the very good people who sit down unconcerned and are not prepared to sacrifice something to the betterment of the country. I see what he is doing as sacrifice. I see the invasion of our privacy as some of the sacrifices that we have to do for the betterment of the country.
It is important to find out what role has been carved for Mrs Rebecca AkuffoAddo on the campaign trial with her husband?
I am asking this question because on Sunday, March 6, she worshipped with members of the Resurrection Power and Living Bread Ministries International, at Kotobabi and made this statement:
"Nana [Akuffo Addo] is my husband, and I know him well. I can assure you that he will deliver on all the promises he has made.”
She has also appealed to Ghanaians to give her husband, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the opportunity to steer the affairs of the country because he “is an honest, incorruptible, and hardworking person who has the interest of the country at heart, and when given the opportunity, can turn the fortunes of Ghana around.”
She said this when joining the NPP Parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso North Constituency in the Greater Accra region Amidu Mohammed Zakari and other party constituency executives to commission a bridge at Brukutu Lane, a suburb of Newton Kwatstru.
It is quite clear to me then that like any of the wives of the politicians, Madam Lordina Mahama is doing her best for the success of her husband. So he has not committed any offence to be lambasted by the Opposition.
I have checked some of the support she has been rendering quietly and I am amazed that her benevolence is hardly known. I realize that she has been touching the lives of people through her Lordina Foundation.
The First Lady through her foundation, undertook initiatives including charity works which touched many lives, especially, the under privileged in Ghana and even beyond.
To demonstrate her love for the less privileged and vulnerable, Mrs Mahama visited and persistently reached out to orphanages and vulnerable institutions throughout the years.
Institutions and orphanages such as the Tamale Children’s Home, Osu Children’s Home, Gambaga Witches Camp, Anfaani Children’s Home, Pentecost Vocational Training Institute, Tailors and Hairdressers and Barbers Association, Frank may Orphanage, Bethesda, among many others benefitted from the Lordina Foundation’s Charity works.
Items such as clothes, assorted food items, electronics, rubber containers and fabrics among many others were consistently donated to the various orphanages and vulnerable institutions.
The First Lady also embarked on a medical outreach to donate medical supplies to deprived hospitals in the country to help provide working tools for effective healthcare delivery in the country.
With support from Med share, USA and other sponsors, the First Lady through the Lordina Foundation donated the medical supplies and equipment to over 41 district hospitals and health facilities.
Hundreds of boxes of syringes, catheters, towels, gloves, gowns, thrash containers, breathing circuits, walking aids, tubes, gauze, oral care kits, hospital beds, mattresses, bicycles, ambulances, among others, worth millions of cedis were distributed to health facilities in the Volta, Northern, Central, Eastern, Western, Greater Accra, Ashanti region and Brong Ahafo Regions.
The facilities that benefitted from the donations are the Aiyinase Health Centre in the Ellembelle district, the Dixcove Hospital in the Ahanta West District, both in the Western Region, and the Saltpond Municipal Hospital and the Catholic Hospital at Apam in the Central Region.
Manso Nkwanta, Ejura, Ejisu, Saint Joseph in Offinso, Bomfa Achiase, Juaso and Mampong Hospitals in the Ashanti region also benefitted from the medical outreach program.
Others are the Bole, Damango, Tolon, Yagaba-Kubori, Walewale District hospitals, the Savelugu/Nanton Municipal Hospital and the Nalerigu Baptist Mission Hospital in the Northern Region.
Also, KeteKrachi, Kpando, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Sogakope, Keta, Kpedze and South Ketu Municipal Hospitals in the Volta Region received hundreds of boxes of medical supplies.
In Greater Accra, La General Hospital, Ussher Clinic, Mamprobi Polyclinic, Prampram and Ashiaman hospitals also had their share of the medical supplies.
Hospitals in Brong Ahafo which benefitted from the donations include Kwame Danso, Prang, Kejebi, Jeji, and Techiman.
At separate events, the First Lady donated the medical supplies to the health facilities to help improve the health care delivery in the country.
Support for Vocational and Skills development
The First lady also donated start up kits to artisans who have completed their training from various vocational training institutions to establish their businesses in Bechem, in the Tano South District of the Brong Ahafo Region. She made similar donations at Techiman North and South Dormaa and Dormaa Municipal and Duayaw Nkwanta in the region. Lordina Foundation will continue to create opportunities for the vulnerable and underprivileged in society to better their lot.
First Lady Presides over mass graduation of Hairdressers and beauticians
The First Lady Lordina Mahama presided over a mass graduation of hairdressers and beauticians organized by the Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association where she encouraged the graduating apprentice to commit themselves to their chosen vocation, be innovative and imaginative as they step out to offer their services. She used the opportunity to also advocate the use of locally produced products and cosmetics to reduce the importation of such product and help stabilize the economy.
To ensure that women at the Gambaga Witches camp are empowered, the First Lady began a building project which would serve as a training centre for women and girls at the Gambaga Witches Camp and the community at large last year. The building project is now at the roofing level near completion. The centre known as Gambaga Training Centre when completed will provide training in various vocations for the women and girls at the camp and the community.
Apart from the Training center the First Lady is facilitating a hostel for the students in and around Gambaga. In addition to these, Mrs. Mahama is facilitating accommodation for the alleged witches at the Gambaga camp.
Orphanages Building Projects
The First Lady as part of her efforts to make life comfortable for the vulnerable and the less privileged in society, through the Lordina Foundation, she is facilitating accommodation for some orphanages in the country. They include accommodation for toddlers at the Osu Children’s Home and also providing accommodation for children at the Tamale Children’s Home.
HIV and Cancer Campaign
To promote women’s empowerment, The First Lady also took her campaign on creating awareness and advocating of HIV and AIDS, cervical and breast cancers to Jema, Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mampon in the Ashanti Region and Mallam, Gbawe, Adabraka in the Greater Accra Region.
As the Premier Ambassador of the UNAIDS Global Plan of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and the President of Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV(oafla), Mrs Mahama’s campaign seeks to empower women to take charge of their reproductive health needs as well as end Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
During the campaign, the First Lady, called for intensive efforts towards the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Despite the fact that women are the backbone of the country’s economy, they form 70 percent of all HIV cases as well as other reproductive diseases. Mrs Mahama said this is unacceptable and all stakeholders, Philantropies, individuals must intensified the campaign strategies to end this.
As part of the activities for her campaign, Mrs Mahama also organized week long free health screening of Syphellis, breast and cervical cancers and HIV for residents at the various communities. Condoms were also distributed to residents.
With education, the First Lady facilitated and granted scholarships to brilliant but needy students especially girls in the country to help further their education. She also granted scholarship to some students to study in China.
Inauguration of Army Wives Association (AWA)
The First Lady inaugurated the Army Wives Association at Burma Camp in Accra and also performed a sod cutting ceremony for the construction of a new Kindergarten the barracks for children of service personnel.
Apart from series of OAFLA conferences, the First Lady also joined her colleagues First Ladies from Africa to participate in the 2015 Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Nairobi, Kenya where she advocated for investment by both the public and private sector in order to eliminate cervical and breast cancers or reduce it to the barest minimum.
Still with the international assignments, Dr Mrs. Lordina Mahama attended the Africa China Summit, an event, aimed at securing an HIV-Free Generation was organised on the sidelines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It was attended by delegates from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and First Ladies from 10 African countries. Being the President of OAFLA, First lady Lordina Mahama at a China-Africa Roundtable on HIV & AIDS in South Africa expressed her commitment to work together, hand-in-hand, to end AIDS and secure stated at a China-Africa Roundtable on HIV & AIDS in South Africa.
The First Lady was in Singapore to name Ghana’s Second Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading Unit, otherwise known as “FPSO” Professor Evans Atta Mills in Singapore where she noted that she was pleased that the TEN Partners are committed to maximizing Local Content in their operations and all major contractors were required to submit Local Content development plans in their tenders.
The First Lady also attended a fund raising durbar was organized by the Council of Brong Ahafo Associations of North America (COBAANA) in Toronto, Canada. The fund raising was part of activities to mark its fifth anniversary and to mobilise funds for educational projects in the Brong Ahafo Region back home. Being a native of that region and the guest speaker of the occasion, Mrs Mahama advocated for quality education for all children.
Achievement/awards in perspective
In recognition of her charity and humanitarian works around the country and even beyond, the First Lady received a number of awards to her credit in the cause of the year.
She was honoured by State of New Jersey and the City of Newark in the United States of America (USA) for her dedicated service to humanity and her philanthropic works. The Mayor of the City of Newark, Mr. Ras J. Baraka handing over the key of the City of Newark to the first lady described her as a mother of Africa, worth celebrating for her philanthropic work and dedication to Ghanaians and the Ghanaian community in the City of Newark. The Keys, which allows Mrs. Mahama an unfettered access to Newark, was in recognition of her contribution to the welfare and development of Ghanaians, both home and abroad.
Fordham University in New York, USA, on May 16, this year awarded the First Lady Lordina Mahama an honorary doctorate of humane letters for her work with women and children in Ghana and across Africa. She was also the Keynote speaker for the Fordham University’s Class of 2015 Commencement at the Rose Hill campus in Bronx where she is billed to be the keynote speaker.
The First Lady was elected and sworn into office as President of Organization of African First Ladies Against (OAFLA) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Representative of UNAIDS Rosemary Museminali and other representative from UNDP paid a two day working visit to the First Lady and President of OAFLA to discuss how to achieve her priorities set for her tenure in office.
End of year activities
As part of the end of year activities in 2015, the First Lady Lordina Mahama in partnership with the Princess Marie Loiuse Children’s Hospital organized a Christmas party for children at the hospital. There were lots to eat, drink and play with. She also donated some food and non food items to the hospital.
Mrs. Lordina Mahama as part of her fulfillment of her annual donations to the less privileged in society during festive seasons presented food items and non-food items to seven orphanages in the country. The orphanages, which benefitted from the donation, are the Anfaani and Tamale Children’s home in the Northern Region, Let Kids smile at Nkoranza, Frank May and Bethesda at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region and Osu Children’s home in Greater Accra and Christ Faith Foster Home in Frafraha. Presenting the items the First Lady Lordina Mahama called on Ghanaians to show love to all especially children during this festive season adding that every child deserves to be happy irrespective of wherever they find themselves.
Inmates of the Gambaga witches camp were not left out of the Christmas donations as they also received food items and non-food items.
The Foundation’s future plan is to move into the area of mobile clinics using mobile vans.
The First Lady is also advocating the end of Child Marriage, which she recently launched at the 7th African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights and the Continental All-In campaign against HIV/AIDS.
Source: Fonibi Larnor/The Republic Newspaper
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|