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Opinions of Friday, 15 May 2015

Columnist: Bawa, Ibn

An Open Leter To JM On Matters Affecting The NDC’s Fortune ...

... In 2016 General Elections

It is no news in town, Mr. President, about the recent events that have engulfed our dear country Ghana to the extent that, that ugly unfortunate animal called “Dumsor” only happens to suffice under your regime. The Young Democrats continue to appreciate the way and manner you are handling this energy crisis.

Mr President, you acknowledged and admitted that we have Energy Crisis. You continuously promise us that you are tackling this energy crisis and will solve the problem within the shortest possible time. In this regard, you created a full ministry in charge of energy and subsequently appointed Hon. Dr. Kwabena Donko as the Energy Minister. The aforementioned actions leave us with no doubt your veal to permanently ending this energy crisis.

The Young Democrats commend the Energy Minister for his pragmatic approach to dealing with the crisis both in the short term and into the long term. We hope that the deadlines given shall be met so that once again Ghanaians, trade and industries shall leave and work 24/7 without a trip of lights going off. The Energy Minister should focus on the job at hand with less talk but should occasionally hold media briefings to keep Ghanaians abreast of tactics used to kill the ugly animal called “Dumsor” dead.

Mr. President, as social democrats, we (the NDCs) must be creating a more social environment where the individual can fully discover his/her potential. We must provide good and quality education, construct motorable roads and other infrastructure, build hospitals and polyclinics and provide a conducive and enabling environment where businesses can strive to the latter. These activities drive a good economy. One commendable project of your govt is the widening and surfacing of the Sawla–Fufulso road. Some years back, this road was actually a near death trap that many a lorry took several hours to cross. Today, this road provides evidence of govt’s investment in road infrastructure. And the Young Democrats are aware of such developmental projects doted around the nod and cranny of this country. Congrats!

Unfortunately, Mr. President, all your efforts to promote and develop the aforementioned sectors of the economy is negated by this energy crisis. Your government drafted a good document which was recently passed by parliament as the Youth Bill. Among other things, the Bill aims to reduce unemployment. In the meantime, trade and industries are the hardest hit in this our current energy crisis to the extent that industries are laying off workers amidst high cost of operation.

To prevent the situation from worsening, we expect some sort of trade and industrial mitigating interventions that will absorb some of the shocks arising from the power crisis. These interventions should prevent industries from laying off workers until government is able to kill ‘Dumsor’ dead. Consequently, the Young Democrats propose that for this fiscal year 2015 the Government and the Ministry of Finance should reduce corporate taxes to enable industries plough back this tax waiver on replacement or on cost of acquiring generators.

Seizing this opportunity further, we continue to challenge the Minister for Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah to continue with the good works, including promoting made-in-Ghana products, driving home foreign investment, bringing down cost of credit etc. Added to the aforementioned activities, the Trade Minister’s exemplary leadership of maturity, open door policy and cordial engagement with captains of industries successfully prevented any industrial actions coming from commence and industry. We continue to challenge the president to bring on board such personalities. Personalities who have made their names both politically and in corporate practice and who see political position as a call to service to Mother Ghana and not as a call to amass wealth and bring the name of the party into disrepute.

Mr. President, the issue of the teacher trainees and their allowances is one area that we (the Young Democrats) strongly believe that the Ministry of Education never handled properly. In our view, the change in itself is not bad but how the change is communicated and implemented are extremely crucial in curtailing possible future conflicts. Elevating the colleges of education to tertiary status to allow more intakes is never a bad idea. The relevant question is ‘What was the road map of fading out the students’ allowance and to migrate these students onto the students’ loan scheme?

The Young democrats also observed that newly recruited teachers and other civil servants work without salaries for close to three years. And when their salaries are to come, only three mouths’ pay is given. This is disincentive to the teachers and all other affected persons. If unsolved, the consequential repercussion awaits us in 2016.

On the issue of corruption, Mr. President, the Young Democrats have observed that, all the corruption cases cited by the opposition NPP are institutions you penned to investigate for their alleged corrupt practices. Unfortunately, those institutions have now been referenced by NPP as if they (NPP) earlier identified them as corrupt institutions. But the difference between the two parties in dealing with corruptions is loud and clear. That is, NPP sweep under the carpet any corrupt practices under their watch, whereas the NDC has always commissioned committees to investigate such allegations to bring to light the truth for the good people of Ghana to judge.

In particular, Mr. President, you have been proactive in fighting against corruption and have in recent times availed some of your ministers and appointees to committees of inquiry and even ‘prosecuted some’. These developments, in our view, are unprecedented and worth commending. We edge the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to continue with the hard work and quest to retrieve monies that have been wrongly paid to private individuals and to periodically make each step known to the media and/or the general public.

As social democrats, Mr. President, our resolve to accept every criticism in good faith and forge ahead to deliver to the good people of Ghana the Better Ghana Agenda for which we were voted into power should be non-negotiable and uncompromising. We have heard of some celebrities trying to hold vigil in the name of ‘Dumsor’. We also heard of the bashing from within some NDC sympathizers; this bashing is uncalled for and we wish to state in unequivocal terms that such bashing is unbecoming of social democrats. Rather, we should use a more formal approach by probably issuing press statements from the Communications Ministry to counter and further educate them on measures and efforts being made by Government to solve the energy crisis and the other economic challenges.

Tagging critics of Government to a certain political party without knowing those persons’ political affiliation is like making a choice of political party for them. The popular adage goes like “If they call you a monkey let your tail be long”. Let’s not engage in activities that will cause us to lose some of the very people who voted for us.

Mr. President, the Young Democrats in their previous write-ups called on you not to relent on your ores to building a unifying party ready to go into Election 2016 and coming out victorious. We are already witnessing streams of never-resolvable internal wrangling within NPP. And this wrangling is a fertile ground for our expected victory in 2016.

In consequence of unifying the extended NDC family, we still challenge the Presidency and the entire leadership of our great party the NDC to continue with talks with the leadership of NDP for reintegration.

Women participation in politics has been dear to the hearts of Young Democrats and we are therefore calling on the leadership of our party to make special arrangements for women who want to put forward their candidature to contesting the upcoming parliamentary primaries.

Long live Ghana, Long Live NDC!

From the Leadership of Young Democrats; President – Ibn Bawa Tel: 0207331532.