A youth group within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Young Democrats, has taken a swipe at the National Security Advisor, Brigadier-General (Rtd)Joseph Nunoo-Mensah for launching an attack on civil and public servants who have embarked on strike actions to demand improved conditions of service.“It is therefore prudent for our government functionaries and other commentators to demonstrate ethical awareness and to exercise high-level emotional intelligence when dealing with issues that affect our national development,” a statement issued by the group and signed by one of its top functionaries, Justice Dansu Norvor noted.
About two weeks ago, the embattled security capo raved about the spate of industrial actions in the country and concluded that civil servants were unpatriotic.
While inaugurating a nine-unit classroom block at the O’Reilly Senior High School (SHS) in Accra, Brigadier-General (Rtd) Joseph Nunoo-Mensah lashed out at the striking workers, saying “If the kitchen is too hot for you, get out.”
The statement by the retired soldier has attracted widespread condemnation within the party and beyond, as some workers in the country have not received their salaries for two years.
The Young Democrats said, “It is the suggestion that workers dissatisfied with their conditions of service should pack and leave Ghana that seems harsh and which the General may consider withdrawing.”
“In as much as Ghanaians are saddened by the numerous strikes that the Mahama-led administration has had to endure, it will be prudent that the utterances of taxpayer-paid senior government officials on such critical national concerns be decently above reproach.”
There are fears that the Brigadier-General’s statement could lead to the exodus of skilled labour in Ghana.
“History will prove us right that the NDC over the years has contributed to the mitigation of “brain drain” by improving wages and incentive packages for workers at all sectors with the latest call by President Mahama to Ghanaians during a visit to London, UK to come back home and contribute their expertise to the development of our country. So, the official NDC view is for all Ghanaians to be patriotic, to help in developing the country and for even Ghanaians resident outside to come back home to help,” the Young Democrats noted.
The veteran soldier has refused to apologize to the peeved striking workers since his infamous comments.
“Strike actions have been part of the societal norm and successive governments have had to endure its ugly side but what seems to be the nuisance in the present government is the lack of crisis management skills by some of our sector ministers,” the group stated.
“If the NDC government of Jerry Rawlings could use good communication and negotiation skills to overcome the ‘Kume Preko’ demonstrations of 1996 and later convince Ghanaians to accept the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT), then our sector ministers could do better in their management of the numerous strikes.”
According to the youth wing of the party, many NDC faithful believe the sector ministers had failed to effectively carry out their mandate and overburdened President Mahama who has to address all concerns personally.
“We also admonish the President and the leadership of the NDC, as a matter of urgency, appraise our government appointees so as to appoint more experienced and competent ones who could win the trust of the various stakeholders,” the Young Democrats charged.
The group said the time has come for the Mahama administration to consider the appointment of some experienced people who have been sidelined.
They cited former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Health, Alban Sumanu Bagbin, former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ofosu Ampofo, former Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Dr. Kwame Ampofo and former head of the International Telecom Union (ITU), Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah as some key personalities of the NDC.