June 14, 2024

Presdent Nana Akufo-Addo

• President, Save Us!

A heart-wrenching scene unfolded in front of the Ghanaian Embassy in Rabat as a swarm of young men and women, Ghanaian students studying abroad, gathered tearfully pleading for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to rescue them.

In a viral video, the students united under the banner of their dire financial straits and emotionally appealed to the President. One young lady, her voice breaking with emotion, said, “We are pleading with the government of Ghana to come to our aid. As ladies in this country, we cannot even afford basic needs like sanitary pads. When our parents send us money, it’s nothing. You can’t do anything with it.”

A young man stepped forward, his frustration palpable, asking, “Why should you leave your country and come to this place and suffer?”

The students, sent to Morocco on government scholarships for brilliant but needy students, now face an uncertain future. “But it’s not our fault,” another student explained. “We were sent here by the government on a scholarship. The people you see behind me come from very needy homes and rely on these scholarships. It has now been more than 10 months—going on 11—without our stipends. We live in a country where rent is $120 per month, and that’s the cheapest you can find in a place without security. We manage to live there because even the stipends we receive are not enough.”

Their plight has become increasingly desperate. “It has now been almost 11 months without pay. The question is, how do we survive? Our landlords are chasing us out of our apartments. Some of us are sleeping with friends, while others are sleeping outside. Imagine sending your daughter to an Islamic country and not sending her money to pay rent for 10 months. How do you expect us to survive? People are accruing debts and are being pursued by creditors. Many are depressed.”

The gravity of their situation hit a new low when one student recently almost committed suicide. “You might think we are just making noise, but this is not noise. This is not a story or a narrative. This is our reality,” one student emphasized.

Their plea to President Akufo-Addo was stark and urgent. “Our lives are in danger. We are begging you, Mr. President, wherever you are. If you don’t intervene, there will be blood on your hands. We don’t have families here and nowhere to turn. You are home and have somewhere to sleep. Please, help us.”

One student poignantly added, “If I am home and I’m hungry, I can go to my father’s house and sleep. Here, I have nowhere to sleep. And I can’t go to school.”

The urgency of their situation cannot be overstated. “Some of our colleagues have already been chased out of their apartments and are sleeping outside. Next week, we don’t know what will happen to the rest of us, who are hosting some of our friends. So please, we are begging you, Mr. President, to come to our aid. If you don’t intervene, there might be blood on your hands.”

As their desperate voices echoed through the streets of Rabat, the call for immediate government intervention has never been clearer. The students’ plea is a stark reminder of the human cost of administrative delays and the pressing need for swift action.

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