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Opinions of Monday, 12 October 2015

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Let’s stop the looming revolution in Ghana

Opinion Opinion

Some observers and security analysts in and outside Ghana are expressing fear of eminent danger over recent upheavals by workers over delays in payment of salary arrears for various employees of government.

Apart from doctors, nurses and graduate teachers who have succeeded in getting paid after rocking the nation with strikes and demonstrations, other teachers and lately lawyers of the Legal Aid Scheme of the Attorney Generals Department have joined the fray by warning government to do something about their low salaries or face another strike action.

They speak of their salaries being as low as Ghc 1,500.00 monthly pay while their colleagues in other departments earn a lot higher pay. One organization that is conversant with security matters in West Africa has warned that a revolution could occur if government fails to deal with government agitations currently becoming a daily affair in Ghana.

Although the Ministry Of Employment and Labor Relations, under Hon Haruna Iddrisu has done a lot in dealing with labor agitations, the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) is advising the government to do more. The organization is warning of a revolution in Ghana if government fails to address the growing workers agitations and protests across the country.

While the revolution may not take the form of the Arab Spring, Coordinator of the Network, Isaac Bayor told Joy News that the powers that be must not underestimate the widespread agitations in the country. Apart from ongoing demonstrations for salaries and allowances, some organizations led by Let My Vote Count (LMVC) are agitating through demonstrations and picketing for the current voters register to be changed for a new one.

They have the support of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other groups who are serving notice that they would do all they could to enforce the change of the voters register. They have carried the fight far by calling for support from European leaders and the United Nations.

Other political parties such as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Peoples National Convention (PNC) do not see eye to eye with Let My Vote Count and the NPP saying that since the voters register which is less than ten years old contains some discrepancies all that is needed is for the register to be audited and cleaned and not replaced at a high cost. The divided entrenched positions of the two groups on the call for a new voters register seems to be pushing the nation into danger.

Since some people with entrenched positions are warning of mayhem if the voters register is not changed No one can tell what would happen if the register is maintained. Since Ghanaians deserve to continue living in peace the two factions over the voters register must allow peace to prevail by softening their stance.

Having submitted their recommendations on the issue to the Electoral Commission they must wait for the outcome of their positions after the impending consultative meeting with all stake holders in the countries elections with the Electoral Commission.

Since the political parties and the Let My Vote Count are not the only stake holders in Ghana, there is the need for all political leaders and civil society bodies to wade into the issue regarding the electoral register to help bring peaceful solution to the impasse between the two factions.

With regard to labor agitations all the stakeholders including the Trade Union Congress and teachers and medical bodies must meet the government to also find solution to their problems by finding workable ways of dealing with workers salaries and service conditions.

The issues regarding workers agitations and differences in electoral matters are delicate therefore the entire security system working closely with the Ghana peace council and council of state and former presidents of Ghana have a duty to meet to take a firm stand on the issues involved.

This way we may skip through it all for peace to prevail in Ghana till the elections in 2016 being the most peaceful nation in West Africa and the world. We need to do something about the delicate issues and the time to do so is now.

Executive Director
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