When I heard on 1st April 2023 that, a proposal had been made in Parliament by an MP for a hospital to be built purposely for Ghana’s 275 MPs, I dismissed it as a ridiculous and expensive “April-fool” prank! However, it was confirmed all over the news! The statement was made when tributes were being paid to a deceased colleague MP the previous day in Parliament.
According to leadership, the MP died on Monday, 27th March 2023 after collapsing in Parliament and being rushed to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Was the MP’s call made because he opined Korle-Bu did not save his colleague’s life, and therefore not good enough for MPs? If yes, what had Parliament done in the past to improve Korle-Bu? What is the state of the nearby La General Hospital which was demolished amidst promises of it being rebuilt into a state-of-the-art facility?
Any loss of life is regrettable. However, to suggest that a hospital be built purposely to serve 275 MPs is an insult to Ghanaians, considering the low penetration of health services in Ghana! In any case, have the MPs not read the article in Peace FM Opinion by the deceased MP’s friend, one Andy Owusu titled
“S3 Asa, Kumawu!! – Tribute to Hon Basoah?”
In it, he discloses the hostility/pain the MP suffered from his insulting constituents, and the adverse effect on his health, a fact confirmed by the deceased’s brother on TV on 2nd April 2023.
The MP’s suggestion is in stark contrast to the constant selfless and commendable appeals by the Salaga-South Constituency MP on radio/TV for improvement of health facilities in her constituency. My interest in her selflessness is based on an emotional attachment I have for Salaga.
I spent the “long vacation” (long vac) holidays, June-August 1968 at Salaga. The pristine little town fascinated me profoundly. At Yeji on my way to Salaga, I was intrigued by the Volta Lake as we crossed it by pontoon to Makango on the Salaga side of the lake. I had seen the River Volta flow under the Adomi Bridge during an excursion in 1967. Seeing the lake however was a different experience.
Secondly during my holidays, a bout of malaria sentenced me to one-week admission at the Salaga Government Hospital. I recall the excellent care I had from the doctors, nurses and staff, hence my empathy with the Salaga-South MP’s appeals. From her appeals to the Health Minister, NGOs and private individuals for help, it is obvious that the VIP treatment I had as a student in 1968 is ancient history now!
“Sheep-fight & Goat-fight”
A funny but enduring memory I also have about Salaga is a fight I saw between two sheep! Behind my house was an open area where kids played football. On this occasion, two sheep loitering about at the centre-circle, started reversing in opposite directions, after appearing to have agreed on the rules of engagement for their next course of action. With each about twenty metres from the centre-spot, as if acting on cue, they started sprinting towards each other. I could not believe the loud sound following the clash of heads.
In spite of the peacekeeping attempts by two little boys to drive them away, the sheep continued the battle of sprinting to bang their heads many times over. It was at the end of one such head-bang that one sheep let out a loud agonizing bleat and fell down bleeding from the nose/ears. When I joined the two peacekeepers to see what had happened, the sheep was dead!
This sheep-fight to death was in contrast to goat-fights I had seen earlier as a little boy. Two fighting goats raise their front legs aggressively into the air, pivot on their hind quarters, and then come down gently tapping their heads, and let the front legs down, with no damage to their heads.
With regular radio/TV programmes showing many deprived Ghanaian communities with no access to proper health care, potable water and good education, it is incomprehensible the suggestion that, a hospital be built purposely for 275 MPs because an MP died at Korle-Bu.
For followers who are prepared to fight to the end in support of politicians, remember that politicians do not fight like sheep. Where they appear to fight on TV, it is only a goat-fight and ends without casualties.
Meanwhile in Rwanda on 2 April 2023, the 35th anniversary of the governing Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Party’s was marked by a Congress with the opposition, Rwandese and non-Rwandese Governance experts from all over the world. It was interesting listening to experts disagree with President Kagame on policy issues. Contributing, former president of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka stated;
“A country in West Africa, please no names mentioned, which was at the IMF to begin general economic reform is back to the IMF today.
Why? A combination of domestic indiscipline, macroeconomic indiscipline and then external shocks. As a result, they have lost what I call political, fiscal and policy space. The decisions they are implementing now are not their decisions.
Why? Because during the days when things were very good, they did the wrong things, they ticked the wrong boxes. Massive borrowing for example, massive spending, huge deficits without building the resilience for the day things will be difficult.”
He did not mention Ghana!
Party Manifestos informing national policy/direction, which change every eight years, will take us nowhere as projects started are abandoned midstream with change in government. Only a well-thought-out non-partisan National Strategic Plan for Development, implemented by selfless, humble leaders of integrity will take us out of the woods. Malaysia did it, Singapore did it, Rwanda has done it, Ghana can do it!
Let us learn from President Kagame’s humble call for accountability and sacrifice for “the nation Rwanda,” not his party the RPF!
Suggesting the building of a hospital purposely for MPs because an MP died at Korle-Bu is unfortunate!
Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association
Family Health University College
Source: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya
|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.|