Nana Akufo-Addo’s running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has indicated that he regularly provides aid to schools in need; hence, his recent pledge to donate furniture to pupils of the Kperisi Primary School in the Upper West region was not for political capital.
“It was not the first time, and if it were just politicking, I would have made a big deal about others in Amenfi West, but I didn’t,” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Yankson in a studio interview on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Dr Bawumia visited the school and made the pledged after he heard on the news that the pupils lie on the bare floor for lessons because they had no desks to use. The government of Ghana later made provisions for furniture for the whole school.
Dr Bawumia said his gesture got officialdom embarrassed as government reneged on its duties and added he was “getting a lot of invitations now because they feel if I come there, government will come and solve their problems”.
Some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), including the Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Dr Rashid Pelpuo, have castigated Dr Bawumia for placing an order for school desks for the pupils.
But Dr Bawumia said he had embarked on similar gestures on a low key, and did not see why his recent philanthropic act has caused an uproar within government.
“This was not the only school I have visited and helped. I have been to schools in Amenfi West, and they had exactly the same situation, so, I contributed something for them to get chairs and tables, but this was not reported in the media.”
He, however, noted that it was time government took action to address the real needs of deprived communities, as, in his view, the governing NDC had failed to intervene in the plight of the marginalised and was rather painting a different picture to Ghanaians.
“We have to expose the true state of the economy to people because this was the same day the government was giving its State of the Nation Address and painting a very different picture from the true situation on the ground,” the former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana said.
Dr Bawumia said corruption in the government is affecting the lives of young Ghanaians.
“Corruption takes away this opportunity [of providing good facilities and quality education] from our kids. The bus branding money could be used to fix this. Whether in schools or hospitals or farms, corruption is a major problem”.
He said the flagbearer of the NPP would clamp down on corruption if given the mandate in the November 7 general elections.
“Nana Addo has said that he will establish an independent prosecutor’s office with legislative mandate to deal with corrupt practices,” stressed the vice-presidential hopeful.