Kwasi Bonzoh, the Ellembele District Chief Executive, says the newly instituted scholarship scheme in his district is not for votes, neither is it borne out of political expediency.
He says it is rather to help develop human resource in the district to become assets to Nzemaland and Ghana as a whole. He believes one of the beneficiaries could become the President in future.
He is therefore urging those reading political meanings into the scheme to stop doing so and pray for its sustenance. The DCE was speaking at the presentation of cheques to the first batch of 160 beneficiaries of the scheme, who are students of the Takoradi Technical University.
Two hundred and sixty more beneficiaries spread in ten other tertiary institutions in the country including the University of Cape Coast, University of Mines and Technology, GIMPA, OLA and Holy Child colleges of education, will also soon receive their cheques.
The Ellembele district scholarship scheme launched three months ago, is the brainchild of Mr Bonzoh with a whooping four million cedis seed money from the Ghana National Gas Company.
Beneficiaries will have their tuition fees paid for the next four years.
Some critics, however, claim Mr. Bonzoh is using this scheme to secure votes as potential NPP parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Others also claim the beneficiaries are not even indigens of Ellembele but selected outside the district.
Mr. Bonzoh dismissed such claims as false and sheer propaganda, saying he might even decide not to contest the parliamentary election.
He said thorough investigations were conducted into the backgrounds of the beneficiaries as true indigenes before their selection and dared his critics to come again.
He reminded them that this scheme which is the largest to be instituted by any district assembly in Ghana, is not about him personally because it will still be operational after his tenure of office.
He indicated that the numerous scholarship application letters on his desk prompted him to institute this scheme to cover majority of the applicants who could not be catered for by the assembly.
More support needed
According to Mr. Bonzoh, many of such letters had been lying on his desk for the past four years with no funds to support the applicants.
He recalled how he started pushing for establishment of a district scholarship scheme with Ghana Gas supporting with the four million cedis seed money and urged other corporate organizations in Ellembele to also come on board.
The DCE intimated that the amount could have been used in executing development projects, at least construction of fifteen AstroTurf, but the assembly decided to disburse it on scholarship since the best form of investment is to invest in human resources.
Using his personal academic life as a guide, Mr. Bonzoh advised the beneficiaries to study hard to complete their respective courses and not to sacrifice anything else for education.
He warned them that disbursement of the next scholarship fund will be on merit and that those who fall below second class upper, will be flushed out.