Amoako Tuffuor Wades into Controversy

Not withstanding his public vilification and allegations against him by the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for different reasons especially for poor management and financial malfeasance, former coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffuor had added his voice to the ongoing misunderstanding with regard to the programme. Contrary to expectation that Dr Tuffuor would cease this opportunity to undermine the Mills led government for arbitrarily sacking caterers and putting the programme into undue danger, he says it was totally unacceptable for the GSFP to be politicized since it was the lives of children which were at stake. “We cannot play politics with this programme”, he said and stressed that anyone who played politics with this issue would have the children of the country caught in the middle. He observed that since children did not report to school in party colours, it was totally unreasonable for government and other party officials to introduce politics into a simple social issue. Dr Tuffuor who was the first Executive Secretary of the GSFP and the brain behind the programme also said that looking at the benefits the programme presented to government, parents, farmers and children as well as the other job opportunities for some unemployed members of the public, calling the programme off would be highly suicidal. It was therefore rather necessary for the government and other stake holders to think of expanding it so that other deprived children and communities would benefit. “Government should not think it is doing anything of immense help to the people,” the former coordinator noted. Instead, government should think of it as a part of its responsibility of ensuring that children were fed as well as were in good health so that they grew up to become healthy and strong leaders. “We know that a government will find it suicidal to cancel this programme but when we lose our sensibilities especially along party lines, we will be denying our children their right to food”, he explained. He appealed in a press statement he issued yesterday that it was about time Ghanaians put aside politics when it comes to issues which affected social development. Talking of the benefits of expanding the programme, Dr Amoako Tuffuor said it was necessary the programme saw a longer span than it was anticipated because in his view, it presented the government and individuals with so many useful opportunities. He said he had researched that as the programme expanded, the country became self-sufficient in rice production, corn, soya beans, and other food crops as they were the main food items used by caterers involved in the programme.