Kumasi — Veteran political activist, Opanin Kwame Afreh, has commended the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, for the bold initiative to decentralise the free education system introduced by the first President of the Republic.
He said the free senior high school (SHS) policy was laudable in the fact that it had benefitted a lot of personalities and people in positions of trust in the previous and current administrations.
The Kumasi-based veteran and staunch Convention People's Party (CPP) sympathiser is enthused about the free SHS concept, and has urged the electorate to give Nana Addo the chance by voting massively for him, because he can deliver on his promises, which are feasible and workable.
Opanin Afreh's conviction comes from a meeting of the NPP leader with Otumfuo Osei Tutu last Thursday, during which he introduced his running mate to the Ashanti King, and reiterated his commitment towards fulfilling his campaign promises when elected as President of Ghana.
He said his promises were not mere rhetoric, but rather carefully thought through policies that were not only realistic, but also achievable.
The NPP leader further emphasised that he would work hard to ensure that his promise in 2008, to bring a major facelift to the Ashanti Region and improve the lives of the people, are realised when elected.
Following Nana Addo conviction and assurance, Opanin Afreh, one time founding member and Regional Chairman of the National Reform Party (NRP), says he believes that Nana Addo would deliver on the development plan for Ghana and the Ashanti Region, because he (Nana) would not want to be held accountable for not delivering.
He noted that the free SHS policy, which was intended to augment the human resource base for national development, was another way of sharing the national cake evenly and equitably to benefit all Ghanaians, and not a privileged few, and urged the NPP flagbearer to ignore critics of his free SHS initiative, and pursue it to its logical conclusion.
Opanin Afreh insisted that the free education policy was feasible against the backdrop that Ghana was endowed with abundant natural resources, including oil, to push it through.
The former regional organiser of the then Eagle Club, and a staunch supporter of National Democratic Congress (NDC), who later joined the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) wondered why the NDC was challenging the feasibility of the free SHS, when the country could afford a pay rise to the Executive and the Legislators, with an accompanying four years salary arrears.
According to the veteran, those who were opposing the proposed free SHS system were selfish and greedy, having benefited and enjoyed the scheme immensely over the years.
He, however, appealed to the NPP to consider reducing the burden of students at the tertiary level, with regards to accommodation, to give meaning to the success of the free SHS policy.
Opanin Afreh also lauded plans by an Akufo-Addo government to construct a flyover at Kejetia, saying it was welcome news, since it had been on the drawing board for a longtime.
Meanwhile, Opanin Afreh, who is also the chairman of the Ashanti United Front (AUF), a pressure group for the development of Ashanti, has cautioned some Ashanti chiefs who are allegedly going about taking over people's land in the name of Otumfuo, the Asantehene, for the purpose of establishing an airport.
He said the announcement by Nana Akufo-Addo to revisit the modernisation of the Kumasi Airport, or construction of a new one at Ankaase, was ample evidence that the construction of an airport was not an individual's business, and should serve as a warning to these unscrupulous chiefs exploiting unsuspecting people and robbing them of their landed properties.
The AUF chairman has threatened to expose them by mentioning the names of chiefs involved in this practice with documentary evidence when he officially lodges a complaint with the Asantehene soon.