Politics Sat, 13 Jan 2007

Will 2007 be a year of peace?

Even though biblically, 2007 can be described as a year of rest, our current state of affairs, carried forward from the year 2006, would not permit us to associate the year with rest.

It is obvious from events towards the end of the year 2006 that the year 2007, is going to be a very hectic year, full of events.

According to our political calendar, 2008 is the year Ghanaians would be going to the polls but before the year 2006 could end, coming events in 2007 have started casting their shadows.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) held its National Delegates Congress at the tail end of the year to elect its Flagbearer for the 2008 Presidential election.

From his victory speech, Prof John Evans Atta Mills made it quiet clear that from that very day, December 22, 2006; he was kick-starting his campaign to the Castle, Osu.

By all indications, it does not look like the NDC is going to sit down and wait till 2008 before hitting the road to the Castle, with the election of its Flagbearer over and done with; the party has commenced its fight for political power.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), held its National Delegates Congress in Koforidua last week-end, January 6 to 7, not to elect its National Officers, not to elect its Flagbearer for the 2008 polls, but just to boost the moral of its members since majority of NPP supporters are frustrated and unhappy with current events within the party.

It is not only the politicians who are getting agitated with current happenings, the religious community is also getting worried with the frustration and general despondence among Christians.

Some senior Clergy (men of God), unhappy with events from last year, have voiced out their dissatisfaction with current development in various sermons preached in their churches to mark the end of the year 2006.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), the Right Reverend Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso, one of the men of God who in their attempt at reconciling the current and former Presidents, asked the former President to apologise to the current President, was very vocal in his sermon on New Year eve on the need for cordial relation between the current President and the former President.

He told his congregation, despite the insults he and his colleagues received from a cross section of the citizenry in their desperate attempt at bringing the two together, he still believe it is imperative that the Church put pressure on the two first gentlemen of the country to ensure that relationship between them become healthy.

The Presbyterian Moderator was of a firm belief that reconciliation between Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor would augur well for the development of our country Ghana.

The head of Christian Redemption International Centre in Accra, Apostle Schambach Amaniampong, had a prediction for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), that the party was likely to split if the party is not careful with the process of electing a flagbearer for 2008 elections.

The Bishop of the Cape Coast Diocese of the Methodist Church, Right Reverend Isaac Quansah, also charged all Ghanaians to bury their individual and political differences and work towards national unity to facilitate the socio-economic development of the nation this year.

On corruption, Most Revered Joseph Afrifa Agyekum, the Catholic Bishop of Koforidua, also added his voice to the call for a concerted national effort to eliminate corruption and the unbridle quest for material wealth.

The Clergy have said it all but would the government listen?

Greater part of the year 2006 was dominated by agitations at the Labour front for better wages and salaries and there is no doubt that matters concerning workers and their conditions of service is going to take a centre stage this year.

Some workers had their demands in 2006 granted, while others were ignored by the government and forced to go back to work by the law.

These workers have gone back to work but nobody has thought of the consequence of the method used by the government to get them, especially Teachers, to go back to work.

Information reaching the Ghana Palaver indicate that all is not well on the Labour Front and it is only a matter of time and the agitations for better wages and salaries would spread all over the country this year.

As if the Government is anticipating trouble on the Labour front and is trying to stop any nation-wide industrial action by workers, has launched a new pay structure which according to President Kufuor, would remove distortions and ensure equity and eliminate unfairness in the system.

But how sincere is the President and his team in their effort at giving Ghanaian workers their due share of the national cake?

We on the Ghana Palaver can assure the President and his team that time is not on their side, as any lip-services or delay in implementation of the so-called new pay structure, would send Ghanaian workers on to the streets.

The year 2007 has been described by the Clergy as a year of peace but surely, if the Kufuor led NPP administration does not “jaw-jaw” with worker on how best they could solve this wages and salaries issue; they would have a very nasty situation on their hands.

We wish Ghanaians a prosperous new year.

Source: Palaver