From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
Drama unfolded at the Ahmadiyya M/A School in Kumasi last week Friday, when the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Eugene Boakye Antwi, allegedly prevented the poor pupils from having their meals under the School Feeding Programme.
The meal was reportedly seized and later given to Kumasi Prisons, at the instance of the Minister, whilst the children went hungry.
Investigations by The Chronicle revealed that 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 Chronicle understands 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.
The Ahmadiyya M/A School is one of the latest schools to benefit from the intervention, but the pupils could not enjoy their right, as the Subin lawmaker, who has been in the news lately for negative reasons, seized the food and allegedly took it to the Kumasi Prisons.
The MP has declined to react to the incident, but directed this reporter to talk to Yaw Anokye, NPP Communication Officer for Subin Constituency. Mr. Anokye confirmed that the MP, indeed, stopped the pupils from enjoying the meal.
According to him, what triggered the seizure of the food was that an unauthorised person had been asked by Mary Duodu to prepare the food for the school, against the orders of the Minister and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
Mr. Anokye, however, declined to answer if the seized food was sent to inmates of the Kumasi Prisons, but confirmed that the pupils were not served food that day. Reached on phone, Madam Mary Duodu declined to comment and explained that her superiors from Accra had taken over the issue.
Efforts to reach Kumasi Central Prisons as to whether the seized food was sent there or not, proved futile. When the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Deputy Director of Prisons Bukari, was contacted yesterday morning, he told this reporter that he was preparing for an exam, and that the reporter should call in the afternoon. This was after the reporter had explained his mission to him.
Though he asked the reporter to call him at 1pm, The Chronicle called thirty minutes later, but did not get any response from him. He had also not returned the call as at the time of going to bed around 6pm yesterday.