Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Eugene Boakye Antwi, faced widespread condemnation after he prevented poor school children from having their meals at the Ahmadiyya M/A School in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
A section of his constituents have openly condemned the domineering and bossy posture of their MP, whose careless utterances have often brought shame to his people.
Commenting on the minister’s action, Joseph Boakye Danquah, former parliamentary aspirant of the NPP, said the deputy minister failed to show leadership and compassion to the innocent children.
He adds that the capacity of children to cater for themselves is limited, so for the minister to have adopted a hardline approach towards them was uncalled for and absolutely distasteful.
“Even in conflict areas where rule of law turn not to apply, children are given special attention. So in a democratic society such as ours children should be protected. That’s why the minister’s insensitivity to the plight of the children is so personal to me,” he said in an interview with asempanews.com.
JB Danquah is of the opinion that Mr Boakye Antwi could have allowed the kids to enjoy their meal whiles he address the matter privately with officials of the School Feeding Programme.
To him, the action of the minister defeats the purpose for which the School Feeding Programme was initiated and goes contrary to the aims and values of the New Patriotic Party.
The programme was established in 2005 by former President Kufuor as a means to boost domestic food production and increase school enrolment, attendance and retention among kindergarten and primary school children.
JB Danquah added, “The minister failed his people by preventing the pupils from having their meals and he must do the honorable thing by rendering an unqualified apology to the children and Ghanaians.
“Eugene Boakye Antwi must understand that he was elected to serve, defend and protect the people, especially vulnerable ones such as children.”
It was in this direction that JB Danquah advised the minister to avoid a recurrence of the melodrama as that could adversely affect the chances of the party in the next elections.
Eugene Boakye Antwi allegedly prevented the poor pupils from having their meals under the School Feeding Programme on Friday.
The meal was reportedly seized and later given to Kumasi Prisons, at the instance of the Minister, whilst the children went hungry.
Reports say Mr. Eugene Boakye Antwi, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin Constituency, went to the Ahmadiyya Mosque, which is on the same premises of the school, ahead of the Ramadan Fast to make a donation, but veered off his philanthropic mission and seized food meant for the children that fateful day.
The Deputy Minister took the decision because there was a misunderstanding between him and Madam Mary Duodu, Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator for the School Feeding Programme, as to who should provide the meals for the said school.