Former president John Mahama has questioned the need for celebrating 66 years of Independence when Ghana is currently experiencing a vaccine shortage for the immunisation of newborns.
According to him, not only has the celebration become a “party Jamboree” but there was also no need to fund this year’s celebration in the face of current economic hardship.
“As Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang said, today if you’re a mother and you take your child to the hospital for vaccination, three of the vaccines are short for the first time since the Fourth Republic.
“So why are we celebrating independence when our children cannot get vaccines?” he quizzed.
He added, “we gained strength in the fight against polio fewer people were getting crippled by polio. But today, our children cannot get the polio and measles vaccines.
“And as long as they don’t get it, the diseases are going to start spreading again and we’re going to celebrate 66 years of independence? You can celebrate it. I am not going to be part of it.”
Mr. Mahama was speaking at the 5th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Night of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Professional Forum (ProForum) on Sunday, March 5, in Accra.
He disclosed that he will boycott the celebration, which comes off in the Volta Region on Monday, adding that the celebration has lost its value.
“I’ve stopped going to the Independence Day because it has become a party jamboree. When I went to Tamale, they told GBC to take the camera off me. They bused their supporters in and filled the whole stadium.
“When I entered the stadium, the place was quiet, and they gave me a corner I went to sit, and they occupied the daze. Then I decided I don’t want to be part of this party jamboree.
Independence is a solemn national celebration, and we should celebrate it at Independence Square so that anybody who wants to come could come. But today, they bus their supporters in with party flags and T-Shirts.
“Nkrumah got us independence and I am an ‘Nkrumahist’ so, I will attend Independence Day, any day if it is not hijacked by one party because it is supposed to be a national day for all of us. So, I am not going to be in Ho tomorrow because I don’t want to be part of an NPP jamboree.” Mr Mahama stated.
He has, therefore, underscored the need for the government to as a matter of urgency, procure all unavailable vaccines for the immunisation of children, to forestall a potential resuscitation of childhood diseases in the near future.
The move he said, will also help sustain the gains Ghana and the world have made so far in the fight against the six childhood killer diseases.
The Professional Forum (ProForum) is “an association of doctors, nurses, lawyers, lecturers, engineers, and communicators among others within the NDC.”
The group was launched on March 6, 2018, under the leadership of Ambassador Sam Pee Yalley, to assist the party with professional advice in times of need.
They celebrated their 5years anniversary on Sunday, with an awards ceremony to celebrate the contribution of the group to the growth of the party and the nation.
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