Good day distinguished friends of the media, party leadership present, ladies and gentlemen. I humbly welcome you all to the Regional Youth Secretariat as we probe into the ills of the food distribution made to our JHS minors.
It is important to remind ourselves that when the NPP government fed few Ghanaians under the Covid-19 lockdown for two weeks, the cost to the tax payer was GH₵54.3 million (thus $9,383,487). It is evident that such gargantuan sum of monies couldn’t have gone into feeding the so-called 400,000 Ghanaians for just two weeks in few areas. Even some NGOs who took the initiative of helping to feed the masses fed them in far less than government has spent.
There were numerous reports of many Ghanaians not accessing the food coupled with its poor and terrible quality. Clearly, the government through its poverty alleviation programme among its family and friends used the Covid-19 situation to heist the tax payer’s coffers without an iota of remorse.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this Covid-19, the Private Sector built a 100-bed capacity Infectious Disease Centre at a cost of $7.5 million. The government of the day could have built an Infectious Disease Centre too in the Northern part of the country but it chose to squander over $9 million under the pretext of feeding Ghanaians.
The government has realised that the easiest way to steal state resources for private gain is through perfunctory self-serving hot meals programmes. So, President Nana Akufo Addo on his 15th Address of the Nation once again directed the Gender Ministry to provide hot meals for students and teachers throughout the country starting on 24th August, 2020 directive is for their self-serving political stunt meant to shore up the debilitating credibility of this unashamedly corrupt and incompetent government of family and friends. The directive is a ploy by this hopeless government to fleece the tax payer like they did in the Covid-19 lockdown.
First of all, is there really the need for this directive? The students together with their teachers reported to school since 29th June, 2020. How were they feeding? Are they dying of hunger?
The hot meals for the Covid-19 lockdown was highly politicised right from the selection of caterers for preparing the food to the targeted beneficiaries. It was flawed yet cost us bigly. The hot meals for teachers and students are taking the same shape and form of the government’s last hot meal politics. And Ghanaians must brace themselves for the shocker when the government finally discloses the amount it has sunk into these hot meals for the final year JHS students.
Fellow Ghanaians, the shameful happenings around the recent hot meals for schools are a clear sign of the dying beast. Desperation has become the middle name of this government and it tries to clutch to any straw with the hope of remaining in power to continue their unbridled looting of our national resources.
Well-meaning Ghanaians and civil societies have condemned the fallout from the political hot meals. The Northern Regional Youth Wing of the NDC follows the cue to add its voice with the sad state of our country where everything has become politics. The polarisation and the sharp division of the country is the handiwork of the Akufo Addo led government where insanity is the norm of the day. This shows that Akufo Addo values power over anything else that matters to the good people of Ghana.
The Northern Regional Youth Wing has observed with dismay the over pollicisation in the distribution of the food.
It is very shameful for any government to use state money to further its political agenda in a time of crises like Covid-19. The cost of the hot meals is a debit to the tax payer and not to the NPP as a party or its flagbearer or its parliamentary candidates. It shameful to observe that campaign stickers of the President and his respective parliamentary candidates are pasted on the packaged food to the teachers and students across the country.
Most of these final year JHS students are not politically exposed or even own a voter’s ID. This unparalleled height of desperation of a failed government to engage in this kind of low-level politicking on students in their formative years of learning true patriotism and service to Mother Ghana is uncalled for; and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
Again, some students in the Ashanti Region on camera, were forced to chant the “pitiable” 4More4Nana slogan before they were given the food. This is child abuse and brain molestation. How could anyone with clear conscience expose these innocent kids to this kind of humiliation in the name of food distribution? Sadly, the Akufo Addo’s government has done worst because it wants to win power at all cost.
- Poor Food Quality
Social media is littered with unpleasant pictures of the kind of hot meals prepared for teachers and students. Both teachers and students have been disrespected and regarded as low-level people for political manipulation. For some of the food, excuse me to say the dogs in President Akufo Addo’s house would not eat that very bad of a delivery for human consumption.
Accordingly, most students and teachers across the country have protested the bad nature of the food given them. Both teachers and students at St. Paul’s JHS in Tamale on Joy News have made horrible remarks about how poorly prepared the hot meals are. The students of Nyankpala D/A JHS were even more livid about the kwashiorkor nature of the food and questioned the president for his populist political tactics.
A final year JHS student granted interview to Sagani TV lamented, (I paraphrase) “The government has made it clear that it is going to provide decent meals for students. So, our parents have stopped giving us ‘chop money’. But the kind of food we are being served is poorly cooked and not enough to even quench our hunger. Look at this food, I won’t even buy it at 50 pesewas”.
Students of St. Cyprian Anglican JHS ‘A’ in Kumasi on the first day of the hot meals also rejected the food according to credible and verifiable sources from Class FM. The students said the food was tasteless. A student interviewed with our corroborated source had this to say: “We are not prisoners to be served with this food. Even prisoners will reject this food. We thought they were going to serve us good food. Nana Akufo-Addo should cancel the contract with the caterer and give it to my mother; she can cook it.”
Fellow Ghanaians, in the Ho Municipality, it is allegedly reported that some students of Holy Spirit School have suffered food poisoning after eating some of the badly prepared hot meals for votes. We are not surprised of such reports because the face of some of the meals served to these innocent kids can make one feel nauseous or even vomit. Like we said, the NPP can do anything for power even if it means putting innocent people on the harm’s way. It was in this light that the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia shared expired food products to flood victims in Wa some months ago.
Day in day out via social, the propaganda machinery of the NPP would share pictures of nicely prepared food just for the optics and favour of the electorate. But the actual food served to the students and their teachers are largely bland, unattractive and sometimes unwholesome. We have pictorial evidence of inconsistencies in the pictures been splashed on social media about the hot meals.
President Nana Addo in his 15th Covid-19 Update indicated that from 24th August to 18th September, 584,000 final year JHS students and 146,000 staff in both public and private schools would receive hot meals each day. It’s been two to three days after the start of the political hot meals, some districts including Savelugu and Chereponi have been left out.
On the second day of the hot meals, some schools in and outside Tamale metropolis were left out too. The caterers abandoned these schools because they complained about the quality of food served them. In Bagabaga Demonstration JHS for instance, they were served only sachets of pure water with the promise of bringing the hot meals but it never came. Nanton Zoo community JHS among other schools in the country has been left out too.
Most of the caterers in an effort to maximize profit leave some schools out or prepare anything called food for them. This reinforces the belief that the hot meals programme is nothing but self-serving political charade meant for votes and wealth creation for NPP members across the length and breadth of the country. No wonder such ventures have been given to the various constituency women’s organizers for NPP across the length and breadth of the country.
Majority of schools have and would be left out of these poor hot meals distribution but the government would end up paying for the budgeted number of beneficiaries – thus the sum total of students and staff.
Fellow Ghanaians, we would like to call out Akufo Addo food contractors to wall the right fences. For it is the tax payer’s money that is being invested into the hot meals programme. Therefore
- The shameless branding of the takeaway packs with pictures of Akufo Addo and his aspiring MPs must stop immediately. Tax payers’ money can’t be used for political gains.
- Filming and snapping pictures of students with the served hot meals for social media political stunts must be stopped. Students should also be forced to endorse Akufo Addo before he or she is given a pack of the hot meals. With what is seen up North here compared to pictures coming from the coastal belt of Ghana, it tells you how some students are valued over others’
- The caterers should improve the quality of the meals and should not be fixated in making enough profits because the unwholesome food served to these poor kids put them at a risk of food poisoning.
- The NPP food contractors should ensure that all final year students are covered because the tax payer’s money is our money.
- As we still have more days for this distribution, I humbly employ government to heed to the suggestion made by IMANI Boss, Franklin Cudjoe. He suggested that, coupons should be given to students to buy from private food joints where government pay these vendors.
Fellow Ghanaians, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought untold hardship on Ghanaians and the hardship is compounded by the NPP’s deliberate and wicked collapse of indigenous Ghanaian banks and businesses. Covid-19 therefore is a curse to Ghanaians but sadly a blessing for the NPP government. They have used the Covid situation to borrow lot of money and have distributed it to family and friends – especially the Asaase/Agyapa Brigands. The inept Nana Addo led – NPP government has borrowed more than all governments combined but they have nothing to show for it. They have increased our debt stock from GH¢120.3 billion in December 2016 to GH¢236.1 billion by 31st March 2020.
The media, ladies and gentlemen, Ghana is at the verge of total collapse everything seem to be fashionably uncoordinated. Let us all join the #RescueMission to save our dear country from the hand of this unashamedly corrupt and incompetent government of family and friends. Let us save Ghana from this democratic heist. This, remains, a civic, patriotic, moral and religious duty.
“Mpagya”, Thank you
HON ABDUL-MUMIN ABDUL – KARIM
NDC YOUTH ORGANIZER NORTHERN REGION