Press Release By The United Cadres’ Front Of The National Democratic Congress On Current Political Developments In Ghana
The United Cadres’ Front (UCF) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been observing of late, political developments that have emerged in our political discourse within the past few weeks.
Initially it was the UCF’s desire to ignore some of the actions that are politically sensational. However, we have come to the realization that there is a concerted effort by some individuals and groups of political players to make this country ungovernable hence the need for this reaction.
We are all aware of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) who embarked on a ‘lock-to-sit-down’ strike of their shops. Following that was the ‘Occupy-Flagstaff House’ demonstration and lastly the call by “Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) for the President’s resignation.
Beyond the above are numerous calls by some other individuals/organizations noising for what they term ‘All-Inclusive-Governance’ of this country. Below is the trend we have captured:
GUTA: We have been made to believe that it is an umbrella body of all traders associations in the country and is supposed to be a non-political organization. To us, it is the other way round because in 2001 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the reins of governance of this country, it was this same group’s leadership (perhaps without the consent of its mass following) that announced the reduction of prices of their wares in order to help the then new government to succeed. GUTA is today complaining about high cost of doing business in the country and that led them to the locking of their shops.
To us it is right to reason that the high cost of doing business in the country is a deliberate design by the group to raise prices of their goods in order to make the ruling government unpopular. When they reduced prices of their commodities in a bid to help the Kufour government succeed, they never run at a loss and for that matter collapsing their businesses but rather made profits to sustain them.
It is trite to reason, therefore, that if their prices were high during the National Democratic Congress government of Jerry Rawlings, it was a calculated attempt (which they succeeded) to incite their numerous clients against the then government in favour of their preferred party – the NPP. This is their second attempt at it but we wish to assure them that they are failing this time round.
AFAG: This is a pseudo-political movement that only emerged after the NPP was toppled in the polls of 2008. It was only after their party went out of power that their eyes could see evil in governance that they allied themselves to demand “Accountable Governance”.
That is why they can now see the 63,000 dollars monthly payment of rent by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as very scandalous which observation we support. However, we do not have to belong to groups before seeing evil.
We are of this opinion, because in around 2005 or 2006, the Energy Commission rented the Frema House, off the Spintex Road which is being occupied by it at an unbelievable amount of GHC 300,000.00 (In their own colonial assessment despite the fact that they initiated the redenomination of the cedi - THREE BILLION old Ghana Cedis). Nobody in the NPP saw the immorality in it; ignoring the fact that half of the amount at the time could have built a similar edifice for the Commission.
Citing the above example does not take away the reckless expenditure by the NPA on the rented premises it is occupying in East Legon. We condemn it in limitless terms and call on the appropriate state organs to investigate and possibly prosecute those who would have contributed to “causing financial loss to the state”.
AFAG also called for the resignation of the President and we wish to send this message to them that they have no business whatsoever going that direction. They have not been given that mandate by the well-meaning millions of Ghanaians who voted H.E John Dramani Mahama to power. The only means by which the President can ‘resign’ is when we go to the polls in 2016, where the peoples’ power of the thumb can declare him to stay or ‘resign’.
OCCUPY-FLAGSTAFF-HOUSE: On Republic Day, some individuals came together to stage what they called Occupy-Flagstaff-House demonstration. Some media houses identified them as the middle-class capos who were out to protest what they call unbearable economic difficulties.
We have nothing against them except to state that their alleged non-partisanship was not that conspicuous.
GOVERNANCE INCLUSIVENESS: The re-emergence of the NDC in the administration of this country since 2009, led first by the late President Mills and now H.E John Mahama has seen all manner of voices of groups and individuals calling for what they call ‘inclusiveness’ in the governance of this country against what is considered the ‘winner-takes-all’ policy.
Some Civil Society Organizations, individuals and members of the clergy have all made the call. We do not want to tag them as politicians but their preferred periods of making these calls leave much to be desired.
The NPP was in power for eight solid years and nothing was done the bi-partisan way or better still the ‘all-inclusiveness’ they are advocating.
It was during the NPP reign that Ghana celebrated her 50th Anniversary of independence in 2007. The almost two-year Planning Committee that was put in place towards the event had no representative from any other political party apart from the then ruling party, the NPP.
The celebration that was supposed to be an all-Ghanaians affair was reduced to a one party activity. The ‘All-Inclusive-Governance’ campaigners saw nothing wrong at the time. We are not in any shred of thought against the idea but we ask – where were these ‘saintly’ voices?
OUR OBSERVATION OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION
Having tackled the above itemized issues, we now want to make our own observation of the present socio-economic challenges that we collectively have as a people. Paramount amongst the lot is the energy situation we find ourselves now.
Our rivals in the NPP have consistently blamed this government as having worsened the situation. Several times over, the government has come out to explain what it is doing to ameliorate the challenges but this is not sinking well.
Since much has been said but the opposition has the penchant not to accept what has been explained so far, we will not go there because it be like trying to light a candle in water.
But on the recent and past fuel shortages, we wish to express our disgust at the way and manner the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is being managed.
Over the years workers of the refinery have cried to government to invest in it to enable it function well. For whatever reasons the government has refused to listen to them, creating the suspicion that some government officials have tacitly frustrated the smooth running of the facility for their own greedy gains.
Workers of TOR have always insisted that the Refinery has the equipment and operational capacity to process a wide range of crude oil including the JUBILEE CRUDE into various refined products.
As we allow the facility to ‘rot’ off, the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) are having a field day in the oil industry.
The UCFs investigations into the TOR affairs revealed that out of the about eighteen (18) BDCs operating in the country, only four of them have storage tank facilities and despite that almost all of them rely on TOR’s storage tanks.
It is therefore not wrong for us as a group to belief that when TOR is allowed to operate in full capacity a lot of the BDCs would be out of business because the storage tanks of TOR will not stand idle for use by them.
Currently, the government owes the BDCs to the tune over 1. Billion Dollars which Ghanaians will have to pay due to under-recoveries arising out of imported finished products.
From our findings of TOR’s problems, it needs 120 Million Dollars to buy two parcels of Crude oil that can guarantee about 70% of national supply of petroleum products. But as it stands now TOR does not have that amount to run and its under-utilization makes it lose 380.000 Dollars per day.
The question UCF begs to ask government is why should we have such a facility, allow it to be under-operated just to benefit a few in the oil industry to the detriment of the larger consuming public.
Do we have people within Party and government who are influencing the ‘MAFIAS’ take-over of the oil business? And do they understand the security challenges each time the ‘commanders’ decide to manipulate a shortage in the country?
The workers of TOR’s leadership is engaging the Presidency and it is our prayer that they are listened to well and immediate action taken to effectively revamp the plant to its full operational capacity.
It is the wish of the UCF to register our disgust at the way some media houses carried their journalistic engagements when the SANITARY PAD issue popped up. Just last two week in Parliament, there was this issue of a 156 Million Dollar loan contracted from the World Bank for the construction of more Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country. A component listed second but last of this loan provided for the supply of sanitary pads for deprived female students in rural communities.
A female member of Parliament from the NPP, supported by a male member could not fathom why that provision. The following day some print media houses came out with very insulting headlines such as “156 Million loan for sanitary pads”.
We see it as the worst insult to the noble journalistic profession and those who are trying to sink the image of the profession owing to their political biases must be told in the face that they are very disastrous elements for the profession.
If a journalist thinks that the World Bank, a prime financial institution of global repute can be that jerky to have passed the loan without any scientific reasoning/analysis into the government’s request (as professed by the National Women’s Organizer of the NPP), then we can only leave her and her bad journalist friends to glorify their own ignorance about research undertakings.
By the way – if supply of sanitary pads (a social intervention policy by the NDC) is an insult to the sensibilities of the parents, then what is more insulting than providing a meal (a social intervention policy by the NPP) to a child brought to this world by the same parents?
THE PRESIDENCY AND PARTY
The united Cadres’ Front, though an organ of the NDC, is not ready to sing praises to the Party and governing leadership where they do not deserve such praises. We take this position because it has been observed with much indignation, today’s crop of supporters of the NDC who have been appointed into positions of trust.
It is important to state that many of the President’s appointees are not in to help him carve a good image for himself but to rob the state for him to take the blame. We are beginning to suspect that many of the current appointees may have faked themselves into the Party and only interested in what they can grab from the system and not what they can contribute towards the building of the BETTER GHANA AGENDA.
We urge the President to do a serious search of his appointees and weed the ‘political vultures’ out of his way. He really needs to bring sanity into his administration and it must start from the Presidency.
Functionaries of the Party are also urged to wake up from their slumber and go to work. We need to rebuild the structures now or never. Currently the biometric registration exercise is on-going but rather negatively. Our resolve to extricate ourselves of the monetization of our political system could be landing on rocks if what is going on in the registration exercise is not carefully looked at.
Aside of this we have also noticed that the Party’s communication machinery has gone to sleep thereby given the opposition to have a field day.
We must think 2016 and it is only now that we can start moving.
For: General Secretary
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi
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