38 Collapse At Parade After Long Winding Speech By Tema Mce

Thirty eight (38) school children who happily stormed the Tema Sports Stadium to partake in Ghana’s 59th independence celebration collapsed, following the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive’s (MCE) unending speech.

Personnel from the Ghana Fire Service were the first to be stretched off the parade. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, who is noted for delivering lengthy speeches, took 43 minutes and 42 seconds to ‘preach’ the ‘Better Ghana’ agenda and ‘Changing lives, Transforming Ghana’ – as personnel from the Ghana Red Cross ran up and down carrying school children who had collapsed at the parade.

Legions of people who were at the Tema stadium to witness the march past murmured and intermittently applauded the MCE’s delivery, a sign to alert the MCE that his speech was long and had become boring.

As if his delivery in the English language was not enough, Isaac Odamtten switched off to Ga and Twi to summarize his long delivery, thus worsening the anger of the audience. During the delivery of the speech itself, the Tema MCE said: “We must endeavour to translate our 59th independence into economic, social and political achievements.

“As a government, it has been our priority to maintain national peace, unity and security, which was not achieved on a silver platter by our founding fathers as they toiled with their blood and sovereign will.” Turning the parade into a political campaign ground, Mr. Odamtten said the past seven years has seen the NDC government ensuring good governance and accountability under the leadership of the ‘youthful and post-independence day born’ President John Dramani Mahama.

The theme for this year’s anniversary was ‘investing in the youth for Ghana’s transformation’, a theme that clearly defines the NDC’s 2016 political campaign theme – Changing lives, Transforming Ghana. The TMA boss said this government has not relented in pursuing developmental interventions to improve the quality of lives for the people and in particular, the youth in the country.

Praising the President further, Odamtten said Tema, for instance, has benefited from a lot of the government’s interventions, citing the construction and lining of major roads, the distribution of free school uniforms to school children, the expansion of the school feeding programme, among others, as some of the interventions the Metropolis can boast of from the government.

Isaac Ashai Odamtten ceased the opportunity to remind all eligible voters who don’t have their names in the voters’ register to do so when the registration opens and also endeavour to vote on November 7. He explained that “it is through this process that we can improve on and sustain peace and unity for national democracy and development”.

In all, 1,683 pupils from public and private schools and 63 teachers were on parade. The story was not different at the Mandela Park, Ashaiman, where 12 pupils collapsed following the late start of the March past. The Ashaiman event, though very short, was late in starting and the students and pupils who had stood in the scorching sun for a long time became dehydrated.

The Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Ibrahim Baidoo, like his Tema MCE counterpart, praised the government for the provision of social and developmental interventions. Touching on more important points in his speech, Baidoo appreciated the invaluable role of the teachers in the municipality. He said the teachers have done well in shaping the pupils and students in the municipality.

He observed that about 40 percent of the people in Ashaiman are made up of the youth, “and this makes it undoubtedly a municipality that has the potential to develop and make Ashaiman a 24-hour modern loveable city”.

He, consequently, charged them to undertake their responsibilities towards the development of the municipality. Baidoo said that: “Ghana, having attained a middle-income status, is now important to rely on the youth to serve as the torch bearers”. He assured the residents of Ashaiman that the assembly would not renege on its promise to improve on the standard of education, which is the best investment any nation can give its people.

From Inusa Musah, Tema

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