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05.09.2003 General News

Improve security of the state - gov't urged

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Accra, Sept. 5, GNA - Mr Kwesi Pratt Junior, a leading member of the Socialist Forum on Friday, called on the government to take steps to improve the security of the state.

He said recent reports and rumours of coup d'etats, coupled with the worsening economic conditions are reminiscent of periods preceding military coups in Ghana.

Mr Pratt was speaking at a forum organised by the group on the theme, "National Security, Peace and Stability-Ingredients for National Development" in Accra.

He said the reports point to a looming danger to the security of the state, which demanded a second look at the people to whom the security of the state has been entrusted, adding that, the same people managed the state security prior to the December 31 1981 coup.

According to Mr Pratt, who is also the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, national security would be guaranteed only if political office holders and the electorate have equal access to food, shelter, education, health, employment and other social services. This is, however, elusive to the masses as political office holders live opulence, he said.

According to him such situations destroy the confidence of the citizenry in the established democratic institutions and create fertile grounds for coups.

Mr Pratt questioned the basis for the deductions of two and half per cent of workers social security contributions, saying the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), should not have anything to do with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Mr Lee Ocran, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the party's leadership instructed its Members of Parliament not to participate in the passage of the NHIS bill.

All parties agree on a health insurance, but the current scheme is not well structured to take care of endemic diseases, he added.

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