The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party has taken a strong exception to comments by celebrated Ghanaian journalist Manasseh Azure, to the effect that “any idiot can use our money to pay school fees for SHS students”.
Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako explains to Peacefmonline.com that his anger at Manasseh Azure is borne out of the spin and disrespect he put on the free Senior High School (SHS) policy being implemented by the Akufo-Addo led government.
In a post by Manasseh Azure, he stated that :
Some NPP activists say my comments on the Akufo-Addo government are baseless. They are not! In November 2016, I wrote an article in which I said any idiot could use our money to build infrastructure and boast about that. I did not see what Mahama had done as exceptional.
In the same way, any idiot can use our money to pay school fees for SHS students. One does not need to be a genius to do that. The opportunity cost of John Mahama’s infrastructure could have been the payment of fees. It’s just a matter of priority. My argument was, and still is, that there’s more to leadership than using the tax payer’s money to do things and boast.
The main problem with our country and continent is wastage resulting from greed and corruption. And that’s why I was hopeful that an “incorruptible” and “no-nonsense” Akufo-Addo was the Messiah Ghanaians needed in the post-Mahama era to restore hope and decency into our national life.
That’s why after two and a half years into Akufo-Addo’s presidency, I hold the view that we bought nicely packaged key soap at Circle, thinking it was a smartphone.
In responding to the opinion piece, the NPP Chairman popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, noted that he respects and appreciates the work of Manasseh but believes he has thrown his thinking cap into the deep ocean.
He added that lately, the journalist speaks like there is kerosene in his head and this has affected the output of everything he records, says or writes.
Chairman Wontumi noted that the decision by the celebrated journalist to throw dirty shade at the current government for implementing a flagship program like free SHS, was unnecessary.
In his view, the unnecessary attention Manasseh is courting for himself is rather fading away the little glory he has left in the media.
“I want to believe Manasseh has the poor who can’t pay fees at the Secondary level at heart. His thoughts are getting weird and he speaks like he has got kerosene in his head, nothing sensible is coming from him, he should watch it”, Chairman Wontumi advised.
In making good his resolve to ensure accessible, equitable, quality and life-changing education for every Ghanaian child, President Akufo-Addo officially launched the Free Senior High School Policy.
During the launch the President stated that “Today, we throw open the doors of opportunity and hope to our young people… We have a sacred duty to our children and the generations beyond in ensuring that, irrespective of their circumstances, their right to education is preserved,” the President said to an ecstatic crowd at the West Africa Senior High School premises at Adenta, near Accra.
“I want every Ghanaian child to attend secondary school not just for what they learn in books, but for the life experiences that they will gain. I want each of them to look in the mirror in the morning, every morning, and know that they can achieve anything they dream of when they complete their studies.
“I want them to be confident that what they study is relevant to the demands of today, and of tomorrow. I want every Ghanaian child to be comfortable in the knowledge that, when they work hard, they will be as capable as anyone else in the world. And I want parents to look upon their children with pride, as they watch them mature into self-confident adults”.