“I don’t have a dime left. I am dependent on my friends for food and small old-age pension”-Bela Lugosi
She officially started work as a civil servant on Wednesday, 6th March, 1957 and I learn she was the first among her peers to get a civil service job.
Her name was Gold Coast but had to Change to Ghana after gaining the white colour job which wasn’t easy to come by in the 1950s. Things were not that bad for her though but growing up she met many challenges.
Some of these challenges scare her when the thought of going on retirement next year comes to mind.
Ghana was envied by all the guys in Europe and Asia all because of her ancestral treasures of gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, cashew, Shea nut, Timber, rocks, lime and many more other treasures which other women at that time couldn’t boast of.
The fear of Pension
After working for 59 years, Akua Ghana sees no hope in the future when she finally goes home come 6th March, 2017.
Akua shivers when she looks at the state of some sectors that were very vibrant some time back.
Akua wonders if her security is guaranteed with the current happenings. She reads and hears in the media of recent contract killings and broad day knife and gun welding armed robbery.
Some of these Police Officers recruited with no proper background checks some times are arrested for armed robbery and car snatching, so Akua is right if she laments of poor security.
Just recently, some of Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces who returned from Peace Keeping Missions in Sudan complained bitterly of how their monies were being paid! Barracks of security personnel is nothing to write home about.
Akua remembers vividly, the poor welfare of security officers in 1966 might have been one of the factors that led to the overthrow of her first Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, very sad story that had had a painful impact on Akua Ghana’s growth.
Akua Ghana a times wonder if the National Security can protect her if she visits Bunprugu Yunyo, Asante Agogo, Tafo and other security flash points.
All these security night mares give her sleepless nights.
Akua wept bitterly after losing close to 71 children in a gory accident on the Kintampo-Tamale highway. The absence of Ambulances was one of the factors that led to the many deaths on that sad Wednesday.
The fear of her dialing the Ambulance number and no one responding, when she is in an emergency pierce her heart! And she wonders what she has been paying all these taxes for, all these 59 years?
She registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme some years ago, thinking her retirement will be smooth when it comes to health care. After knowing there are less than 170 old rickety public Ambulances, means she can’t always get one standing by at the closet Hospital to carry her from home? She took a second a look into the NHIS.
The NHIS Authority owe many hospitals close to 9 months, this has forced some of them to reject NHIS bearing card holders whiles others who still accept these cards, can’t pay hospital staff and manage their facilities because most of them rely solely on revenues from the Health Insurance claims to run their facilities.
Akua nearly went on Coma when she heard the internationally recognized Korle –Bu teaching Hospital is closing down most of its surgical units due to a breakdown in some of their machines. Many souls were lost during that time.
She wonders, if she can leave additional 8 years after retirement if the health sector is such deplorable?
Her meager SSNIT benefit can’t pay for a plane ticket to Madiba’s South Africa or Mahatma’s India for health reasons but the politicians can.
Power and Water
She stopped relying on the Ghana Water Company some six years ago because of their poor services and high tariffs which the PURC can’t do anything about but to support.
One of Akua Ghana’s childhood friends Malaysia used to come to her for marital advice and family tutorials. She is doing very well in terms of Water issues and from what Akua is seeing; Malaysia might never suffer when she goes for retirement as she is going through.
Akua wonders how her Children and grandchildren who rely on Ghana Water will survive in this era of water rationing.
Ghana Prisons Service have no option than to allow inmates go out and get water. Schools are closing down because they can’t be spending all their revenues on buying water from Water Tanker operators.
It’s being 59 years, and Akua has no option than to keep on weeping for her kids who had hope in her but now can’t even boast of a single treasure.
For close to 12 years the previous and current Chief Executives are doing all their best to stabilize electricity but it seems it’s not going to work any moment from now!
Akua Ghana and most of her children can’t afford even a rechargeable lamp how much more a generator set.
The fear of Power fluctuations and water rationing currently ‘cut her intestines’. Ghana Water Company has increased their tariffs to 140%!
Companies from some her friends, Europe, America and Asia are folding up because of the high tariffs in utilities.
She wonders if she is really the Akua of those days when all eyes were on her because of her beauty and treasures bestowed on her.
Akua’s school going grandchildren at Kperisi in the Upper West Regional capital, lie flat on the floor to write, sorry but they are not physically challenged. There are no tables and chairs.
Some students of Pong Tamale Senior High School, use the corridors of their washroom as a sleeping place.
How can a Pensioneer to be see her grandchildren suffer like this, for no crime done? She has paid all her dues to make her grandchildren enjoy but structures are not working.
When the Chief Executive’s Accountant told the people that, they now have to import Cocoa beans from her close door sister, Ivory Coast, Akua Ghana and her children beat their chest in pains and all what could be heard from the wailings were WHY..WHY..WHY?
How can she come home for retirement, visit her hometown and be told the only Cocoa farm belonging to her and her children have been sold to the some greedy descendants of her longest male friend China, for illegal Mining!
The Chief Executive is doing all what he can to make Agriculture appealing to her grandchildren, but they are not buying into the idea at all because of poor policies!
In no time, we will be importing Agri-produce just as we’ve started with Cocoa.
Akua Ghana, remembers vividly when Mr. Nkrumah told her, she was free forever and that she can control her own affairs but now she can barely control her assets in and outside her home.
She knows by now her young friends, Malaysia and Singapore who were everyday visitors to her house for advises will be disappointed in her for going on retirement empty handed.
Akua will turn 60 next year, but some of her children don’t give a hoot about her wellbeing but fighting over her very limited treasures. Selling some away and sharing the proceeds among themselves.
Corruption is everywhere and the Chief Executive Officer feels helpless.
Some of her children who are preacher men now take advantage of the already poor people and milk them of their hard earned money. Some are turning into crabs and cockroaches; others claim they have holy water and stickers that can solve Akua’s woes forever.
After being raped mercilessly by different gangs of Military guys and coat and tie politicians, she has been left alone to suffer when she comes home.
Long live Ghana….Long live Ghana…Long live Ghana
Source : Emmanuel Agyemfra Boateng.
You can contact the writer via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0249542342