A former Member of Parliament (MP) has slammed politicians who hand out akpeteshie, a locally distilled gin, to voters in their quest to win elections.
Crying over the devastation the intoxicating drink has done to the lives of some promising Ghanaians over time, former MP for Builsa North and Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Agnes Chigabatia, says the campaign cash some politicians do budget for supply of liquor to the electorate should be invested in simple initiatives aimed at transforming the lives of electors for the better.
“Politicians shouldn’t wait [until] when it’s voting time, then they would come and buy akpeteshie. We need the money for development. No more akpeteshie for campaign. Instead of buying akpeteshie for the people to booze for votes, they should rather give that money for development,” she said.
The one-time Upper East Regional Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) raised this concern when she chaired the inauguration of the Builsa Queen Mothers Association at Sandema, capital of the Builsa North District.
Whilst calling on individuals and organisations to assist the new association with a permanent office apartment and means of transport, she also urged the queen mothers to render the Paramount Chief of the Builsa Traditional Area, Naab Azagsuk Azantilow, the collective support needed to develop the area.
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“We are working for women and we are working for children. The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has helped a lot of women. This is the first time we have gotten a woman as Chief of Staff. Foreign Affairs Minister, a woman. Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, a woman. Name them. We should always bear in mind that this is a government that has women at heart so that we may excel wherever we find ourselves as women,” she added.
Queen Mothers told to Support Rescued Boy, Street Children
In the streets of Sandema, according to the former legislator, are some children who are supposed to be in the classroom, a phenomenon common in many parts of the country.
Of deep concern to her also was the future of a motherless four-year-old boy who reportedly had suffered years of torture at the hands of his grandmother until he was discovered and rescued in 2018 by a nurse in the soon-to-be-a-municipality district. She wanted the queen mothers to help put the street children in the area in school and to assist the nurse-rescued boy, who is yet recovering, to find a happy home and a delightful future.
“There are a lot of children roaming around— especially on Sandema market days. They prefer to sell to being in the classroom. Queen mothers, it is part of your duty. You can draw that boy’s or that girl’s attention, talk to the parents and let those children go to school. That is part of your duty.
“Look at the sad story said about that our poor child. We don’t know where that child is now. But I am pleading with you that once the Regional Minister is a woman, let us get that story right. Let us package it right, and you will see that someone will come and take that child away from Builsaland. He could be a future president,” she stated as excited queen mothers and invited guests applauded.
Queen Mothers beg MPs over Congested Wards
The President of the Builsa Queen Mothers Association, Poknab Atebalie Azantilow, welcomed the gathering with an address centred on what the association stood for and an observation it had made at the Sandema Hospital.
“I would like to make an observation about Sandema District Hospital. On a visit to the children and maternity wards, I realised the children’s ward was crowded, gynaecology and maternity [units] were in one ward with few beds, which should not be the case. I am, therefore, pleading with our two MPs to see how best they can solve this problem.
“The association has been formed as a source of charting a common track for developing Buluk in general. Our association is seeking the uplifting of women and children, promoting peace and unity among families in the Builsa Traditional Area and to help alleviate poverty among women through economic ventures to mention a few,” she said.
Four Policies to Start in 2019 — Regional Minister
The Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Patience Abayage, was represented at the function by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Nabdam, Agnes Anamoo.
Declaring the association inaugurated in a speech read on her behalf by the DCE, the Regional Minister urged women (queen mothers included) to take advantage of some policies and programmes she said government would implement in 2019.
“I wish to assure you that government is committed to focusing on the socio-economic empowerment of women by promoting women in political decision-making as a composite index for enhancing good governance through participatory approach to national development decision-making at all levels and reduce feminised poverty through alternative livelihood schemes, targeting poor women, the vulnerable and marginalised groups.
“Let us, therefore, use this association to support government led by His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo as he rolls out his flagship policies and programmes such as ‘One Village, One Dam’, ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ and the introduction of ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ which is to kick start in 2019 as captured in the budget. Our women in this part of the country are noted for being hardworking. We must ensure that benefits that come from these policies help us improve our living condition,” the Regional Minister said.
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