19 November 2012

Ghana: Buipe Market Women Endorse Free SHS

Majority of the Traders in the Buipe Central Market have endorsed the Free Senior High School (SHS) educational policy being trumpeted by the flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The women, who claimed to be the breadwinners of their families, maintained that they could not wait to see the Nana Addo's Free SHS policy being fully implemented to save them (the women) from the burden of paying school fees of their children.

The Traders made the endorsement when the NPP National Women Organiser, Madam Afisah Otiko Djaba visited the Buipe Market to propagate the gospel of Akufo-Addo and to also woo the women folks to vote for the elephant party.

The spokesperson of the traders, Madam Kande Dramani, who is a mother of seven children, questioned whether President John Dramani Mahama had ever experienced real poverty situation before kicking against the free SHS policy.

According to her, her husband became incapacitated some four years ago after dropping from a Cargo truck loaded with charcoal, and she had since been solely responsible for the upkeep of the entire family, including feeding, clothing, paying of light bills and school fees.

Madam Kande, who sells tomatoes and pepper in the market, openly admitted that she had been voting for the NDC since 1992 and she had not seen any improvement in her life, but with the Nana Addo's Free SHS she had regained the lost hope that- at least her children's future would not be in jeopardy.

"I have seven children now and my husband who used to support the house is now sick. I am doing everything by myself now. This tomato business is not also good. So I beg Nana Addo that he should come and sack John Mahama and give us the free education".

Adding, "All of us here are suffering, people will think that we are doing business but we don't get anything. President Mahama is our brother but he does not know how we are suffering because he does not come here all the time".

Another woman who could not also hide her passion and delight for the NPP's free SHS was a fufu seller, Madam Zinabu Iddrisu.

"When my husband died, my in-laws took away our farmland and the crops on it, because they said the land was for the family and not for my husband, so it became difficult for me to cater for my children.

"About four to five months after my husband's death, our house was destroyed by the flood and some of my children were perching with different people who were taking advantage of the girls because they are beautiful".

Madam Zinabu, who has now employed three girls at her chop bar further narrated, "Later when I managed to put up a new house, I realized the girls were spoilt and they were going out every night with men. I could no longer pay their school fees, especially the two who were at Vittin Secondary in Tamale, so they told me they want to stop schooling because their boyfriends wanted to marry them.

"I realized it was a good opportunity for me to reduce my burden so I pushed them to go. Ever since I have regretted my action, but I can't blame myself so much because I did that because of poverty. So I want Nana Addo to come and take care of the remaining children for me".

Madam Zinabu accused the government of failing to assist the women with loans to expand their businesses, even though they had formed associations.

On her part, the NPP National Women Organiser, Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba told the traders that "all is not lost because Nana Addo is coming and I can assure you that you will see the difference".

She, therefore, encouraged the women to rally behind the NPP to win power in December in order to transform the economy of this country.

Madam Otiko was particularly worried about the way and manner the NDC government had managed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Free Maternal Health Care and the general economy of this nation.

She advised the Gonjas to vote on the basis of competence and vision but not only ethnicity as being advocated by the President John Dramani Mahama.

"You should vote for someone who will unite and develop the whole nation but not the one who is telling you to vote for him because he is a Gonja or northerner.

"If President Mahama really wanted to develop the Gonjaland or Northern Region, you would have seen the signs by now, but what do you see? Tribal politic is dangerous so don't buy into that idea," she told the women.

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