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General News of Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Dr. Baah jabs Police: “Demonstrations aren’t beauty contests”

Head of Political Science and history department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has shot back at the police for insisting that labor organizes its planned nationwide demonstrations on a region-to-region basis.

Worker unions led by the Trades Union Congress are bent on staging one of the biggest nationwide mass demonstrations and a strike action ever recorded in the history of GHANA on Thursday.

They are protesting what they describe as a worsening cost of living caused by hikes in utility and petroleum prices, the depreciating value of the local currency and the mismanagement of the economy.

The police service is however complaining it is undermanned to police Thursdays plan nationwide protests to be organized concurrently in all regions across the country.

It is consequently deliberating with labor to modify the plan to rather conduct the demonstrations on a regional basis, a position the general secretary of the TUC Mr. Kofi Asamoah has resolved not to concur.

Reasoning with Labor, the political science professor indicated that the police could not decide what form labor should choose to make its protest effective.

“The police must know that it is not a beauty contest. You have to do it the way it is most effective. If they think that is the most effective; to see the massive numbers, to bring the country to a stop that we are not happy about things, then that’s what they should do," he emphasized.

“The police do not get to tell them how they should do it just because they don’t have the personnel. They must find a way of making it work,” he added.

The vociferous academic further called for the president to strongly consider offering a national address to be shown on national television to calm the nerves of Labor.

Dr Amoako Baah was of the firm belief, it was about time the president reasoned with labor in all sincerity. He believes winning the heart of labour is the only way to prevent the industrial actions from further escalating.

“If I were advising him, I will tell him to come on national TV to address the people and to talk to them sincerely. No more promises but tell them this is where we are, and we must tighten our belts. That I know is difficult for everyone. He should assure them whatever he has to do, he will do it.”

“He must try to unite the people by being sincere and not partisan anymore,” he advised.

He warned that should Thursdays protest be mismanaged, even bigger demonstrations are bound to rock the nation in the coming weeks. He hinted that it might begin with UTAG and POTAG, students, parents joining and receiving support from other labor unions.

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