As Akufo-Addo’s Presidential Hopes Fade, Auntie Becky Gives Up Campaign For Hubby
With hopes fading and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) looking set to be outside of government for twelve years, the party, has resorted to punching the wife of the president, Lordina Mahama, accusing her of vote-buying, using state resources to fund her charity organization; “The Lordina Foundation”.
The First Lady’s outfit, has since vehemently rejected the claims of the NPP, whose flagbearer’s wife; Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has rather been seen in hospitals in Accra and Tema with party-branded gifts bags handing them over to patients.
Dazed by her much appreciated work started in 2010; the NPP, has described the First Lady’s philanthropic work, as a form of “vote buying,” because of the December 7, elections.
But the First Lady, has said that the accusation by the NPP was unfounded, explaining her foundation has become successful by dint of hard work and willingness of sponsors, partners and collaborators, to help provide assistance to the needy in deprived communities, nationwide.
The First Lady, runs a number of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), including the Lordina Mahama Foundation, which supports humanitarian and philanthropic works.
Mrs. Mahama, has donated assorted hospital suppliers to several hospitals, women, children, queen mothers, windows and many others.
Some of the hospitals that have benefited from the foundation are, Bole in the Northern Region, Ejura, Juaso, Mampong, Offinso, Manso Nkwanta, in the Ashanti Region, South Tongu in the Volta Region, Sunyani Municipal Hospital, Nkoranza, Drobo, Sampa all in the Brong Ahafo Region, La General Hospital, Princess Marie Louise Hospital as part of her medical outreach programme.
Among the items donated were beds, mattresses, wheelchairs, breathing circuits, catheters, gloves, syringes, stabilizers, packed surgery sets, breathing tubes, anesthetics accessories, nurses cabinets and a host of consumables.
Mrs. Mahama, recently extended her generosity to a hospital in La Cote d’Ivoire, where she and her husband, John Mahama, paid a state visit. Accompanied by her counterpart, Dominique Ouattara, she donated items to the General Hospital of Yopougon in Abidjan.
Last May during a state visit to Japan by the president, Mrs. Mahama, reaped One Hundred Thousand Japanese Yen (¥100, 000) from the Association of Wives of African Heads of Mission in Tokyo, as part of her philanthropic programme in the Gambaga Witches Camp in the Northern Region.
Reacting to the NPP claims, Mrs. Mahama’s aide, Edward Tapsoba, said the opposition party was only concocting a story due to its lack of message, ahead of the polls.
He wondered, why the NPP, did not raise issues with the several donations made to former First Lady, Theresa Kufuor, by benevolent bodies for distribution to several health facilities.
“Lordina [Mahama] has not taken any money from government, neither has government allocated any budget for such donations. It is the hard work of her NGO and her honesty that brings in the donations,” he told Accra FM, a radio station based in the capital city.
He charged; “The NPP can continue to hold press conferences, accusing Lordina of this and that, she won’t be bothered.…It will not change Lordina’s position.”
The NPP, during a press conference on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, questioned the source of the donations the “Lordina Foundation” was making across the country.
Acting General Secretary, John Boadu, had said at the press conference “Mrs. Lordina Mahama has assumed a special role in the 2016 NDC campaign. She is effectively the Chief Director of Gifts. The wife of the president of the republic is going round the country, with a fleet of trucks loaded with goodies, which she is sharing for votes”.
Without providing any shred of proof or documentation, Mr. Boadu, who doubles as national organizer claimed “These run into millions of dollars. Ghanaians deserve to know; how much is being spent? Who is paying for it? Where is the money coming from?
He questioned; “Is it from our taxes or from friends? Which friends? Are they friends, who are also capable of winning contracts to build walls and roads? The First Lady must be transparent and accountable.”
Since 2010, Madam Lordina, then the wife of the Vice President, embarked on these charity gestures to complement efforts by the then John Evans Atta Mills’ government.
Seidu Kpebu, a Presidential Aide, who works with the First Lady told The Herald that Mrs. Mahama, has always acknowledged the likes of MedShare of the United States of America (USA), the Turkish First Lady, as among her sponsors.
“For the records, the Lordina Foundation, has a lot of offers for sponsorship, collaborations and partnership but the First Lady has always been meticulous in deciding which organization or individual to collaborate with”, he told this paper.
Mr. Kpebu continued that “Those projects that the Foundation is facilitating, she has always stated same in her speeches.
She has received many awards and each award came with a package, which she could have kept for her personal comfort, but she has always decided to give them out to orphans, underprivileged and people in need in our society”.
He argued that, if after all the many claims by the NPP that Ghanaians were being subjected to, would relegate those important issues to the background and be concerned about a private individual’s quest to make the lives of the underprivileged better, then her charity works, might have truly impacted on the people.
To him, “So the NPP held a press conference to question the source of Lordina Foundation’s resources for the charity work that the First Lady Lordina Mahama is undertaking across the country? That means H. E. Lordina Mahama, is really making an impact to warrant a whole press conference on her philanthropic work”.
The Presidential aide suggested that, “If indeed the NPP were sincere in their quest, they would have first, contacted these publicly declared institutions, organizations and individuals she keep mentioning in her speeches”.
According to him, “she has received many awards and each award came with a package, which she could have kept for her personal comfort, but she has always decided to give them out to orphans, underprivileged and people in need in our society.”
Meanwhile, the Government has waded into the allegations describing it as “unnecessary diversion.”
“They are the most unnecessary set of questions I have ever heard any political party pull,” a Deputy Minister for Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has said.
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu, who’s also the Deputy Spokesperson for the NDC’s 2016 campaign, clarified that, the First Lady, has been embarking on these projects in an attempt to continue the tradition left by her predecessors.
“Madam Theresa Kufuor, had mother and child community development foundation, when she was First Lady.
Madam Ernestina Naadu Mills, also had a foundation for child education and before them, Nana Konadu, had the 31st December Women’s Movement and all these organisations were registered NGOs who raised resources through known channels to prosecute their activities in the same vein,” Mr. Ofosu Kwakye explained.
Recently, Mrs. Akufo-Addo disingenuously visited health facilities followed by a large number of the NPP activists and fanatics fully dressed in party colours of red, blue and white, thus demonstrating the partisan approach of her gestures of gifts to sick in the public hospital.
In what looks like an orchestrated plan to match the First Lady, and the works of her Foundation, Mrs. Akufo-Addo, was spotted in parts of some regions distributing “provisions” to patients in hospital wards in NPP branded polythene bags.
Per some of the pictures shared from her outfit, she is seen carrying newborn twins and sick babies in La General Hospital, Tema Polyclinic and Tema General Hospital, handing out goodies to their mothers with a clear intent of winning their votes for her husband; Nana Akufo-Addo, who had by then left Ghana on a 10-day visit to the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), shortly after his five-day tour of the Ashanti Region.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, was seen in the Odododiodio, Ningo-Prampram Constituencies, lorry stations and markets and a few other places for votes. On one of the visits, she was in the company of Lawyer Frank Davies one of Nana Akufo-Addo’s protégés.
Her campaign, has since been grounded. Insiders say she is not inspired by the responses and reception she gets on the ground, and has therefore, decided to stay at home. It not clear whether the NPP deliberately used the press conference against the First Lady, to also have her sit at home, thus killing the impart her charity work begun in 2010 is making.
More to come!