General News of 2014-08-18

Ghanaians must hold Mahama accountable – Opuni-Frimpong

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has entreated Ghanaians to hold government accountable to its promises and actions in the management of our dear nation.

According to him, every Ghanaian, irrespective of their background and social affiliations, has the right to hold government accountable by sharing their opinion when things are not going the way they ought to, adding that, “if citizens of this country do not speak about the ills in our governance system and national life, there is no way Ghana can develop”

He made these comments in a telephone interview on Citifm, an Accra based radio station last Friday as a follow-up to a Press Statement the Council issued last month on the fact that, Ghanaians are losing public confidence in government.

“You must remember that, governance is social contract. Politicians go to the people and tell them give me power, vote for me and I will make life better for you, so citizens should be able to demand for accountability if they feel these promises are not being met and their standard of living is not getting any better,” he stated emphatically.

“Democratic leadership requires that leaders must be held accountable and we must mobilize citizens to institute a social action so that we don’t just vote every four years and remain timid. Votes in democracy are not just giving power to make people comfortable, it is action, it is work,” he insisted.

Rev. Opuni-Frimpong encouraged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to mobilise their constituents for social actions in holding government accountable, adding that, this is the only way to ensure that government does not take our votes and power for granted.

He continued that, “government and its communicators must respect dissenting views coming from any section of the Ghanaian populace, and avoid embarking on vitriolic attacks on people who express views that do not favour them. The habit of politicians condemning and attacking Ghanaians who expose their bad deeds is a sign of ‘political immaturity’.”

On the issue of public confidence, he said the growing spate of demonstrations by civil society groups and Ghanaians indicates that our people are losing confidence in government.

He, however, noted that, although government has constantly indicated that it is taking measures to resolve Ghana’s economic challenges, the rising cost of living shows otherwise.

“We have heard about some efforts government is making but I doubt if the cost of medical bills have gone down and I doubt if salaries and remunerations have also improved … from the little I know, I’m not sure much difference has happened in the recent days,” Rev. Opuni-Frimpong stated.

According to him, ordinary Ghanaians assess the level of the economy and conditions of life from “what they encounter as they pick transport, go to market, pay their rent and buy fuel“.

He said, although professionals express their opinion about Ghana’s inflation rate and other issues relating to the economy, it is the concerns of the “ordinary” and the governed that are necessary and should be considered and addressed.