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10.08.2009 Politics


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Some supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Bibiani were reported to have stormed offices within the District Assembly buildings on Tuesday, ordered out employees of some state institutions and locked the doors with padlocks.

The affected employees belonged to the Information Services Department, National Disaster Management Organisation and the National Youth Employment Programme, among others.

According to a report filed by our Ashanti regional correspondent, the NDC supporters claimed that the offices were sabotaging the efforts of the government; hence, their (supporters’) “desire to take over the offices until effective workers were employed”

The story said that but for the timely intervention of the police, a nasty incident would have resulted, since some of the affected workers wanted to put up resistance.

Contacted to throw light on the incident, the District Chief Executive confirmed the allegations by the mob, saying the action stemmed from “the attitude of the employees of the ISD” who, he said, were working against government’s policies in the town.

The staff, he said, “had on several occasions, sensitized the public against the government.”

The Ghanaian Times thinks all is not well. Something is seriously wrong with the country’s politics.

Starting from the government officials in question, we cannot fathom why somebody paid by the state to propagate government policies should turn against the very government whose actions and policies he or she is supposed to explain and/or defend.

There are certain job-descriptions that are cast in stone.

No matter what his or her political affiliation is, a staff of the Information Services Department swears to serve the government of the day.

It is the service for which he or she collects salary at the end of the month, and the officer is supposed to bring his own independent thinking on any subject under subjection.

The officer who feels that acting this way goes contrary to his/her conscience has only one way out: resign.

Having said this, we think that it amounts to setting the political clock of progress back in Ghana for any group of people to act the way the supporters did.

We are lost for words to express our amazement at this extreme and negative display of populism.

Having observed the conduct of the officials involved, all that the supporters should have done was to call a press conference to express their dissatisfaction with the conduct of the ISD officials.

What they did amounted to taking the law into their hands, and constituting themselves into judges of the performance of public officers. It is not right.

Their mob action must be condemned by all concerned citizens, and we expect the NDC national executive to take the lead.

We are the more surprised by the District Chief Executive.

As the head of the government machinery in the district, it is to be expected that he would be concerned by the reprehensible conduct of the ISD officials, if the allegation against them are true.

But to be seen to be endorsing hooliganism, no matter how guilty the ISD officials may be, leaves much to be desired.

The party supporters are calling for “effective workers” to replace those they have thrown out.

In the first place, it is not known what “effective workers” means.

But granted that their request is met, and the government decides to replace those workers – which we doubt will ever be, knowing, as we do, the level of maturity of the current leadership of the country – it will take about six months to advertise the positions, conduct interviews and issue appointment letters.

What happens in the interim? Who will, in the meantime, run government business in Bibiani?

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