The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has indicated that the party still stands by its earlier objection to the government's approach in the handling of the country's 50th anniversary celebration.
He accused the government of failing to involve the national executives of NDC in the planning stage of the golden jubilee celebration.
However, Mr Asiedu Nketiah alleged that the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat was rather engaging NDC party functionaries at the regional level in the programme.
He told the Daily Graphic on Wednesday that the appointment of Dr Wereko Brobby as the Chief Executive of the National Planning Committee Secretariat of the Ghana @ 50 was misplaced, considering his style of management at the Volta River Authority (VRA).
Mr Asiedu Nketiah said since the NDC was not involved in the planning stage of the celebrations “the NDC cannot be said to be involved” in the celebration of the 50th anniversary.
He dismissed the suggestion that the refusal of the NDC to participate in the celebration would be a show of unpatriotism.
He explained that if an organisation was not invited to an event, such an organisation could not be faulted for not attending it.
Asked whether the NDC would honour any invitation to the golden jubilee celebration, Mr Asiedu Nketiah said the party would consider the content of such an invitation before considering the next line of action.
A press statement dated July 27, 2006, which was issued by the NDC and signed by Mr Asiedu Nketiah, said “much as we (the NDC) believe that the government has a responsibility in setting the pace for the celebration, we are disappointed by the approach of the NPP Government in the handling of this all-important event.”
It said the NDC objected to the allocation of ¢182.9 billion for the celebration of the event.
That, the statement said, was in view of the “high poverty level and incidence of guinea worm, malaria and other diseases in the country”, unbearable petroleum taxes and levies, agitation of workers for better salaries and the suspension of admission of patients to the Children's Surgical and Emergency Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital due to its deplorable state of repairs.”
It said the setting up of the National Planning Committee without the involvement of major stakeholders and political parties could give the event partisan coloration in the eyes of many Ghanaians.
The statement, therefore, called on the government to involve all stakeholders and political parties at leadership level in the planning of the golden jubilee celebration.
It again asked for the reconstitution of the planning committee to reflect various shades of opinion and the review of the budget to reflect the socio-economic realities of the country.
Story By Musah Yahaya Jafaru