So finally prez Mahama mounted the IEA platform in reverse to his party's initial position not to.
I was never amused when it was announced that the NDC had rescinded it's decision not to partake in IEA encounter. Not that I agree with the reasons given for the initial snub. No. indeed I find the reasons the NDC gave bogus, that it was convention that no sitting prez took part. bogus reason.
The IEA has been a misbehaving entity! They have failed to own up for their ills and on that score, I hold the opinion that all Ghanaians must hold them to task and demand responsibility from them instead of sweeping issues under the carpet. Instead of doing this clearly, the NDC rather issued an official statement claiming it's convention that no sitting president has taken part in the IEA encounters or debates. Convention my foot! I don't care about convention. tell me something more meaningful. tell me you want to snub the IEA bcos of their behaviour and I'd support that stance 100%. After all the IEA is not a state institution. It's an NGO which gets funding from external sources and hence must not be allowed to dictate to Ghanaians how the nations democracy should progress.
Anyway, many things have passed under the bridge. Prez Mills has passed too. Now prez Mahama who took over after the passing of prez Mills decided to partake in the encounters after meetings with the IEA. no problem. 'new king, new law'. So he goes to mount the stage.
Prez Mahama like the others before him makes an initial speech, enumerating a number of stuff done by his govt and others planed to be done if he is elected as prez in the 2012 elections. Many things. I'm not one who goes chasing promises. For me I've seen too much stupidity in leadership that all I look out for are really basic advancement of sensible positions. I know corruption can never be eradicated by anyone. I know we can only keep working at it. I know no one can make manifest all his electoral promises by the end of his/her 4 year term. I need not be told that even some promises need to be discarded before any recall of them let alone that they have attempted implementation. These I know. Hence I'm no fun of electoral promises. I just listen and take notes however. All I want is sense. Talk sense to me. If you are a leader who cannot or does not speak sensibly to facts with logical linkages of objectives and means then just don't bother talking to my hearing.
So well, prez Mahama talked a lot of sense. I'm not the type who does praise singing because I think outside the arena of play or fun, praises easily corrupt. So even though I make no pretenses of the fact that he's my candidate of choice to be president for the 2012 elections, I'd rather do critical analysis of his talk than praise him. But this is tough I must confess because Mahama simply did well. I can hardly punch a hole in all the things he said. I'd very much be ready to engage anyone who thinks he/she can pick out vital flaws in Mahama's presentation for us to see.
Pal, Mahama talked about education and health, among others. On education he made the point succinctly clear that we should not allow anyone to steal the vision set out in our constitution by the framers of the constitution on the point of free education at any level. This statement for me is very profound and shows that all those who have been hailing the NPP's Nana Addo's claim of being the one with a vision coming with 'free shs' (pal, note that I put that in quotes because I dare say Nana Addo does not know what he's promising. free edu or free shs) have just been fraudulent. It's a pity that for whatever reason, even people who are expected to be sensible, journalists, professors, etc have all fanned this rape of the conscience of the nation by Nana Addo just because he wants to be president. Such poison! But thank God that prez Mahama minced no words in pointing out the fact.
The most striking thing about Mahama's presentation was the fact that when he mentioned something in broad terms, he took pains to define exactly what he means. Meaning he was very particular about his choice of words. For example on his energy policy which he laid out broadly as improving accessibility he stated how he was going to tackle it by saying with a pause: "let me give you the definition of this" and proceeded to say what he meant. Again, in talking about the involvement of women in leadership by govt already, he pointed out specifically that his govt had appointed the first substantive head of the CHRAJ. A loose talker would have just said 'first woman head of CHRAJ' but that would be deceptive because we've had a previous woman head of CHRAJ, only she was an acting head and not a substantive head. Mahama nailed it down to the bare bone!
My only problem with Mahama is one of a deep philosophical delving. He said in answer to making secondary education affordable that all secondary schools should be made to charge same fees in Ghana. I'm not sure this can work. First of all, the secondary schools are of different standards with different facilities. So it can't be that govt can provide same amount of resource to all secondary schools. For example, a secondary school that has 3 buses would need more money for maintenance than one that has only one bus. So if the secondary schools charge students somehow (and they do have their ways of doing these) for such maintenance then it only stands to reason that the one with 3 buses would charge more than the one with only one bus.
Would govt be ready to take all these burden and equalize the charges? how would the equalization work? You'd take the upper limit which is that of the one with the most buses (or needs) and give same to the others which don't need all the extra? or how? The lowest limit certainly can't provide for the ones with more demands so that one is a no-go! So how would this equalization or standardization be done? I doubt govt can achieve this. By another view, there are differences that exist between materials needed for practical work and theory. Schools with more practical material/tool demands have their uniqueness too. similar thing like the 'bus analogy' I've just given. I think this would be a wild goose chase and it must not be pursued. Me think the schools should rather be given the right to decide their individual needs and charges with concensus with students/parents and with good supervision by govt and provision of subsidy by govt where needed and where appropriate.
Pal, that is the only problem I found with Mahama's presentation and this one is an issue of opinion. It's not that he got some fact wrong. It's not that he made an outright illogical claim. Mahama just delivered so well that I'd be happy to have anyone point to me anything so bad. I don't see any. Not that I had any doubt he could deliver. no. indeed like I've stated my position against the IEA, as my candidate of choice, I was against him mounting that platform with the reasons I've given above. I know Mahama to be a good and sound communicator. I know he talks a lot of sense and that's the reason why I support him and I don't need anyone coming to tell me about his level of thoughts.
Pal, I'd leave you to go find out the other details of what prez Mahama who has the twitter handle @JDMahama presented. To continue would mean risking singing praises which I don't want to do because he gave very sensible and pragmatic answers to questions raised. I support him because he preaches ideals I share and I'd rather let it remain so.
Pal, have a good time!