Former President John Mahama must give credit to late President John Evans Atta Mills in connection with the construction of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) and University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) as well as the upgrading of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) and Ridge Hospital (Greater Accra Regional Hospital) among others, a former Deputy General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho has said.
The ex-spokesperson of Prof Mills who wondered if it was a crime for him to make such a demand of the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC, insisted in an interview with Blessed Sogah of Class News that: “If somebody started and you continued, that’s it. So, give credit where credit is due”.
“He [Mahama] didn’t begin it. Somebody began it, you finished it. How many times haven’t you heard him [Mahama] say that Akufo-Addo must give credit to him [Mahama] for certain things that he began? So, he [Mahama], too, must give credit where credit is due”, Mr Anyidoho insisted.
Commenting on President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Agenda 111 project, which aims to construct 101 district hospitals, 7 regional hospitals for the new regions, including a new one for the Western Region; 2 new psychiatric hospitals for the Middle Belt and Northern Belt, respectively; and rehabilitate the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in the Western Region, Mr Anyidoho told Kwame Appiah Kubi on Accra100.5FM’s morning show, Ghana Yensom, on Thursday, 19 August 2021, that it is an incontrovertible fact that his late boss started the projects he listed.
In his view, the Akufo-Addo government’s Agenda 111 dovetails into the late Prof Mills’ ‘Better Ghana Agenda’, which caused him to invest heavily in Ghana’s health sector.
“Every political party that wants to come to power pledges development because no one will vote for any party that promises to destroy rather than build, and, so, you pledge that you’ll develop the nation and that is what we all want. And, so, if development is going on, why should any proper citizen of the country be worried that development is taking place?” Mr Anyidoho wondered.
Drawing links between Agenda 111 and his late boss’ health sector investments, Mr Anyidoho said: “As far as the Atta Mills ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ was concerned – and some of us still hold on to that ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ – when he was campaigning, President Mills promised to invest in people, expand infrastructure, build a resilient economy and change the face of governance”.
With infrastructure expansion, Mr Anyidoho mentioned the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) as an example, saying: “In the history of Ghana, there’s no president that has built a university dedicated to health and allied health sciences”.
“There’s no university; if there’s one, mention it, apart from the University of Health and Allied Sciences that was built and set up by His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills”, he asserted.
“That was the visionary thinking of John Evans Atta Mills: the importance of health and the need to train health personnel”, he noted.
According to the former Deputy General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who is currently contesting his expulsion from the party, “under President Mills, we got the Legon Hospital constructed and facts are facts”.
“We had quite a number of midwifery schools across the length and breadth [built]”, he added.
“Readily, Techiman comes to mind. Another one in Gauso comes to mind. Apart from that, health assistant training schools [were constructed] across the length and breadth [of the country]”.
“I remember one – I think in Jirapa. Another one in Nandom. Another one elsewhere. So, there was heavy investment in training health personnel to support our mainstream medical doctors and nurses”, Mr Anyidoho recalled.
“And, so, the Tamale Teaching Hospital was upgraded. Other facilities: the Ridge [Hospital] reconstruction kicked in”, he noted, adding: “So, if there’s another government that has come and wants to expand infrastructure in the health sector exponentially, all I’m saying is: ‘Thank God that the ‘Better Ghana Agenda’, at least, in the health sector, is on course”.
Asked if the projects he mentioned were rather not to the credit of former President John Mahama, as has been widely touted by members of the NDC, Mr Anyidoho retorted: “I don’t want to go into trivialities. Facts are facts. And, so, if someone doesn’t know the facts and you’re being told the facts and you get angry and think it is because somebody hates somebody else, then it is your own business. But the truth is the truth”.
To adduce further evidence to his assertion, Mr Aanyidoho said: “I was the one who was writing the man’s [Atta Mills’] speeches. I was in charge of his PR. The records are there. Google it and you’ll find it”.
“I’m not making up stories”, he emphasised, insisting: “All these projects were President Mills’ projects, but, of course, it’s government in continuity and John Dramani Mahama was his vice-president, so, if President Mills died and he [Mahama] became president and he continued, so be it. But the truth of the matter is that they all began under John Evans Atta Mills. Facts are facts”.