General News of Friday, 12 October 2018
Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party has clapped back at former president John Mahama for challenging a Ghana Education Service directive banning all political activities at basic and second cycle schools in the country.
An executive of the National Democratic Congress, Joshua Akamba, was invited by the police and later granted bail for allegedly inciting students of Tempane SHS against the President Akufo and the government’s Free SHS policy.
Akamba who was said to have visited the school to campaign, sought to find out from the students if they were affected by bedbugs due to congestion arising out of the implementation of the free SHS to which the students responded in the affirmative.
His action was said to have caused the students to hoot at President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He was consequently invited by the Police and had his statement taken on the matter pending investigations.
The GES issued a statement and directed all regional and district directors of Education and Heads of SHS to ensure that “schools and students are not used for political activities without authorization”
Former President Mahama who did not take kindly to the action of the Police and the GES directive, has challenged the decision of the GES, stating he and members of the NDC will campaign at the various SHSs in the country, and that the government can cause their arrest.
“…the point is if we want, all of us can go to the school, come and arrest me. Do something about the condition in the school and stop intimidating headmasters and inviting political opponents for investigations,” Mahama challenged the government while addressing NDC delegates at Garu in the Upper East Region.
Responding to Mahama’s challenge on 3FM Friday evening, Mr. Obiri Boahen described the comments by the former president as “unfortunate, unacceptable and not fair”.
“If a former president will throw this type of challenge; a former president will go to this level so be it… It is quite unfortunate that the former president will throw this type of challenged,” he said.
For him, even if possible, the GES should draw up timetable for Mr. Mahama to visit every school from primary schools through SHS to tertiary institutions in both public and private sector from now till the 2020 elections.
“Even if it is possible the Ghana Education Service should draw a timetable for him; from now up to 2020, to go to every second cycle school, to go to every tertiary. If he wants to go to primary schools he is at liberty to do that,” Mr. Boahen advised.
In his view, “Ghanaians have decided that they will no longer vote for him [Mahama], they will no longer accommodate him, they will no longer tolerate him”.
Commenting on Mahama’s criticism of the government’s key policy iniatives like the Free SHS, One District One Factory among others, Mr. Boahen said the former president is only exposing himself to public ridicule.
The deputy General Secretary claimed people are making “unsavoury and derogatory remarks” against Mahama, citing an instance where he said some lawyers at the Obuasi High Court premises teased him Friday.
“His [Mahama’s] advisors must advise him,” Mr. Boahen advised, adding Mahama “can continue to pour out all these sentiments but if you monitor these sentiments and the reaction, the backlash, he is only exposing himself to public ridicule and contempt”