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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Columnist: Akpabli Daniel Yao

#FixTheCountry Campaign; Time to continue rebuilding agenda through collective efforts

It appears the youth are feeling a sense of despondency and frustration in the management of the affairs of the country. Just as there is a positive correlation between frustration and aggression, they have decided to go this way to express their feeling.

Instead of engaging the national leadership to build mutual understanding, they wanted to pour out into the street to express themselves.

The youth decided to spleen their anger and frustration at this government with the belief that perhaps, this is the only government led by His Excellency, President Nana Akufo Addo that can fix all the problems confronting the country.

During the 2020 political campaign, the then Presidential Candidate now the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo made some promises. When he was elected and subsequently assumed office, he fulfilled most of the promises.

Let us talk of Free Senior High, restoration of trainee teachers’ allowances, restoration of trainee nurses’ allowances, introduction of NABCO as a means of addressing the rising unemployment situation in the country, reduction in electricity tariff, employment of teachers and nurses who were unemployed after graduation, cleaning the banking sector, massive expansion of the school feeding programme and the LEAP and many other social intervention programmes.

With these, the government is surely fixing the country in all aspects of our social lives.

This is the only government that, in the first year of coming to office, started implementing its campaign promises. This is due to the leadership skill, vision and foresightedness of the President. This is the leadership par excellence that has the capacity to efficiently and judiciously manage our meagre resources to the benefit of every home in Ghana. The country was on the top gear to the high plateau of development only for the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic to put the gear into a reverse drive.

The country was indeed set on the path of accelerated development only to be attacked mercilessly by the deadly pandemic. Therefore, while #FixTheCountry campaign rages on, it is important to put the campaign in a proper context. We should not be oblivious of the fact that recent development in the management of COVID-19 pandemic has a huge and heavy toll on the finances of the country. The plans and programmes of the government are to deliver massive prosperity for all.

COVID-19 expenditure was unplanned and unprogrammed thus derailing every efforts of government at delivering its agenda. This emergency situation, needs emergency plan which everybody must embrace and support fully, especially the economic lockdown with its concomitant adverse impact which was not intended by the government. This pandemic eroded the gains made so far by the government. The COIVI-19 pandemic is causing a lot of ravages for most of the economies of the world.

The international economic order is gradually being dislocated by this strange disease. Where nature is the cause of any crisis, leaders need not to take any blame. Instead, the leaders will need our support to carry through pragmatic solutions to respond to the problems. As indicated by the Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, the current crisis demands an exceptional leadership skill to handle. That leadership is being provided by President Nana Akufo Addo.

The proactive responses by the government to the issues raised by #FixTheCountry campaigners is a display of responsible government that is committed to address the urgent demands of its people. The various engagements with the youth which culminated into the press conference to set matters straight is commendable. There could not have been any better approach than this. Leadership is a service to the people and it has indeed been demonstrated. It is important to note one critical concern of the #FixTheCountry campaign.

Central to this concern is the view held by the campaigners that there is “a failure on the part of successive governments to improve the lives of the citizenry”. This concern by the campaigners is not limited to this government. All governments that ruled Ghana are accused of not improving the lot of the people. This government is still on its way to deliver improved living condition for the people. It will surely be a different government from others in terms of performance.

It is the good performance of the government led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo that prompted these concerns to have the country fixed. It is a challenge to the government and all the people of the country. Fixing the country is a major overriding concern for all Ghanaians.

Looking at the hang Parliament, where the ruling party, the New Patriotic Party has 137 seats and the opposition party, National Democratic Congress also has 137 seats, the clarion call by #FixTheCountry campaign is that the two parties should work together in the common interest of the people. Extreme partisanship in matters of common interest must be deactivated.

Collaboration and understanding in all matters are crucial this time than ever. Over politicization of national issues cannot be the way to go. The national interest must supersede all other interest.

This is the time to vigorously continue the Ghana rebuilding agenda through our collective efforts. The bold attempt by the government to ameliorate the situation as outlined by the Hon. Minister Finance must have the blessing of the all parties in Parliament.

Any extreme and excessive partisan position will not let us address these concerns. All work together to find lasting solutions to these concerns because the issues raised transcend all governments.

It is the current government that is facing the full brunt of the concerns raised. The packages announced for job creation as well engineering the private sector through partnership are steps in the right direction to respond to the concerns.

ALL HANDS MUST BE ON DECK TO DELIVER THE PUBLIC GOOD.