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26.01.2010 Editorial

Atta-Mills brings in “Team - C” in reshuffle – Ghana’s Youth demand better

By Kwabena Addohene
Atta-Mills brings in “Team - C” in reshuffle – Ghana’s Youth demand better
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“Is this, the best the NDC has to offer Ghana in 2010”? Ebei!!

Legon/Tech/Cape Vars profs - where are your criticisms of your fellow 'prof'?

We representatives of various Ghanaian youth groups respectfully demand that HE President John Atta-Mills finally bring in “Team – A” to tackle the many urgent challenges facing the country – joblessness being No. 1. Hence, his 25 January cabinet reshuffle is neither coherent nor intellectually credible. Unless more credible senior and experienced ministers – be there of members of teh NDC, NPP, CPP, PNC or of a non-partisan pedigree are brought into the government soon, President Atta-Mills government may very well go down as the worst and most mediocre in Ghana's political history. Even Acheampong's cabinet was better!!

Is Mr President telling us that moving Majority Leader Alban Bagbin to the Works and Housing Ministry will all of a sudden revitalize that sector? Why the change? What past experience does he Bagbin have in the construction sector? Isn't his long legislative experience better used in parliament as constitutional amendments head our way? Also is the good Professor telling us Ghanaian youth – who remain unemployed, unmarried and still living at home with our parents, that moving another experienced legislator Majority Chief Whip E.T. Mensah to the Employment and Social Welfare ministry will all of a sudden change our fortunes? What is ET's experience in labor contract matters or in dealing with industrial strife or strikes? With the chaos around the 'Single Spine Salary Structure,' is the combative ET the best person to send to employment to face unions?

What about the Attorney General who keeps losing cases and losing files in her own office? Or the Energy Minister who cant seem to handle the Kosmos-Exxon affair credibly? Or our Foreign Minister who still has a corruption case from NVTI hanging over his head? Isn't Victor Gbeho doing his job anyway?

Finally, while the removal of Mrs Zita Okaikoi from the Ministry of Information to Tourism will please some of her trenchant critics like Ato Kwamina Dadzie and others, and while the sidelining of the fine gentleman Mahama Ayariga to Trade and Industry may please the garrulous and unwise loudmouth Koku Anyidoho at the Castle – Mr President's communications machinery is still broke? Not a single taxi driver in Accra or Bawku understands what the government is trying to do, or what its programme is. Will John Tia ALONE speak for the government and president now? Or will Koku still be making his loathsome and undignified noises in the background? In short, over a year into his government, our dear President Atta-Mills does not have a coherent government capable of accomplishing the 2008 NDC manifesto – which among other things promises:

1. Present to Parliament a co-ordinated programme of economic and social development, including agricultural and industrial programmes at all levels, in all sectors, and in all regions of Ghana as required under Article 36 (5) of the Constitution.

2. Significantly reduce current troubling and unacceptable trends in infant/child and maternal mortality.

3. Review the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to provide coverage for basic healthcare for all and review the unwieldy bureaucracy and palpable corruption of the Scheme.

4. Review and streamline Public Sector Wages with the view to boosting productivity and towards paying decent wages for the working people.

5. Vigorously promote and support quality healthcare for the people.

6. Mobilise additional external resources to be able to expand and improve the quality of the School Feeding Programme to cover all primary schools countrywide.

7. Review the Capitation Grant to ensure that it is in accord with the true and proper

8. requirements of the provisions of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE).

9. Review the GETFUND Act by decentralising the utilisation of the FUND to the educational institutions themselves and with the participation of students.

10. Provide a remuneration structure that will make public sector managers and employees, including civil servants, teachers and health sector workers, productive, effective and efficient.

11. Sponsor legislation to establish an “Election Fund” from which polling agents of political parties and of candidates shall benefit for training and on Election Day, among other things.

12. Review all land transactions in which public lands have been sold to private individuals and companies in contravention of the constitutional requirement for the first option of purchase of such lands to have been made to their previous owner.

So while Mr President you play 'tsha-tsha' or 'ludu' or 'oware' with our destinies, our contemporaries such as Malaysia and others are moving forward. We the youth are turning to vices such as daylight prostitution with older men and women, thievery, pornography acting, and drug trafficking to make ends meet. Even those of us with jobs can barely survive. Ghana's Vision 2020 to “become a medium income country' is less than 10 years away and is fast becoming a mirage.

Will the members of the academy in Legon, Tech and Cape Vars who used to criticize every little twitch that our former military president's commited now speak up if they still have any intellectual courage… Or because Mr President is also a former professor – Ghana's intellectuals are happy to be led by a slate of good, honest-meaning – but clearly mediocre ministers?

Over to u – Joe Lartey!!

Kwabena Addohene, Aburi, (Co-Leader, 21st Century Ghana Youth for Change)

Sena Avotrigbi, Accra, (Co-Leader 21st Century Ghana Youth for Change)

Malik Abdul-Razak Alhassan, Tamale (Co-Leader, 21st Century Ghana Youth for Change)

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