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Opinions Thu, 24 Mar 2005

Was The " Wahala" Demonstration Necessary At All?

I have read and listened to recent commentary on the increases in fuel prices with bated breath and i have come to the conclusion that,Ghanaians have really embraced the ideals of democracy.


I say so because,the citizens of this dear nation of ours are enjoying some unprecedented freedom which has reflected in the way they have expressed their divergent views on this subject of fuel price increases.The most popular medium by which they have made their views heard is the radio.In fact,when it's phone in time,i just sit back and listen to callers contributions and that makes democracy beautiful.


On this particular issue of price increases in fuel,there are two main schools of thought operating.While one school is of the opinion that the government in power is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians,the other also thinks the increases were necessary and it was for the good of the economy.In otherwords,the increases were a necessary evil.!!!


Some people have even gone out of their way to brand the president as a high-handed person and others call him "Diawuo".The rationale behind their thinking is what i find difficult to understand.I say so because,am pretty much sure they have not lost sight of the fact that,we don't produce crude oil in this dear country of ours;instead it is the hard earned foreign exchange the country earns from exports that is used to buy the crude oil.Interestingly enough,prices of crude oil on t! he international market aren't determined by the government.!!!


My question is;for how long can the government continue to subsidize for fuel and have we thought of the long term effects that action is going to have on the economy?Just as it wouldn't make business sense for a trader to buy a product for 1000 GHC from a manufacturer and sell it for 800GHC under the pretext of subsidising the shortfall of 200GHC,so it is with government.

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While acknowledging the fact that times are hard,the hypothetical scenario i have just put across should tell people who think the government is out to inflict hardship on them to reconsider their decision and note that,although this decision may seem unpalatable,it's also the only way forward to putting the economy back on track.We really need to gird our loins for we need to go through the desert before we arrive at the land of milk and honey we all crave for.


In fact,Ghanaians should be grateful for having a leader in the person of H.E J.A. Kuffour.It is this kind of leader we have not had in recent times.We've all been witnesses to a leader who was tough not in making decisions that will help move this country forward but instead,engaged himself with beating up his vice and ordering soldiers to give identification haircuts to innocent citizens.Indeed,he forgot position wasn't possession and he has struggled to come to terms that he's out of office! .


In another development,i understand an organ called Committee for Joint Action went on a demonstration against the hikes in the prices of petroleum products,which it said,have brought untold hardships to many Ghanaians.The group's composition which is made up of political activists from the NDC,PNC,CPP and the Socialist forum claim they are absolutely convinced that it is possible to review the price downwards.The spokesperson for the group,one Dr.Pessey ,at a press conference said,they would never rest until the fuel prices are reduced.I think he is a huge JOKE.!!!!


Since the signs are glaring this government won't reduce the prices,then it stands to reason that,the members of this group will be on the street for long!!.Have the spokesperson and his cohorts sat down for a moment to do a thorough analysis as to why the first one was a fiasco?The answer indeed is not far-fetched:Ghanaians are now very discerning and understand issues better, hence ,they won't fall to the pranks of disappointed politicians whose voices could be heard via this kind ! of forum.


I am sure the man hours that was spent by these people(the organisers) to march through some principal streets of Accra could have been used to organise sessions in their respective parties to come out with strategies at wrestling power from the incumbent if they really have the ordinary Ghanaian at heart as they profess.This unfruitful and useless demonstration won't do us any good because the purpose for it has not been achieved.(there's not been any price reduction,at least for now.)

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POST SCRIPT:


I hear the ex-president is on record to have branded the sitting president as Atta Ayi,the notorious criminal who has been arrested.In times past when i have been very critical of the ex-president,i have received mails from his fans reigning expletives at my person.Some have even had the bold effrontery to suggest that i am an NPP stooge.


In fact,the sitting president has shown great maturity and comportment by not responding to the ill-mannered and uncouth Rawlings.By this,he has brought more respect and dignity to the high office of the president.The difference between ex-president Rawlings and President J.A.Kuffour is that,whiles the latter is well learned and an oxford graduate,the other is a form five leaver who keeps trotting around the globe for honorary degrees.


If you ask me what needs to be done to stop ex-president from making such comments against the incumbent,i will suggest the NDC seeks the services of a high profiled psychologist to sort him out.!!



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.


Columnist: Gyan, Richard