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23.09.2004 General News

Ahwoi calls for dialogue between govt and ex-ministers

By GNA

Kumasi, Sept. 23, GNA - Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has called for closer dialogue between members of government and former Ministers of State to ensure that pertinent national issues are discussed passionately for the benefit of the nation.

He said the inability of members of government to sit down and dialogue with former ministers in order to learn from their experiences, had been one of the most serious drawbacks in the country's democratic dispensation.

Mr Ahwoi made the call at a day's seminar on the NDC 2004 manifesto in Kumasi on Wednesday.

The seminar was organised by the NDC to sensitise the media on the contents of the manifesto in order for them to have deeper understanding and help the party to sell it to the people.

Mr Ahwoi said even though Ghana had had no precedent, the manner in which the 2001 transitional period was handled by the NPP had created animosity and affected the cordial relationship, which should had existed between the present and former ministers.

He, however, said there was the need to find a solution to the problem and learn lessons from past mistakes, adding, the continued "non-dialogue situation between the government and the NDC is doing more harm than good".

The government needed more information and clarification on certain important policies, programmes and issues, which were initiated by the NDC government before they could implement them smoothly, he added.

Mr Ahwoi cited the recent agitation by the polytechnic students on their placement on the job market and said the NDC government had a programme, which was eventually going to elevate the polytechnics into degree awarding institutions, which would make their graduates equal to university students.

He said most of the members in government and opposition were classmates and friends, who had found themselves in different sides of the political divide and "it was therefore important to locate our democracy to our social lives", stressing that, "there is no need for politics to divide us".

Mr Ahwoi said the NDC, when voted back to power would set up water fund to provide reliable financial assistance to the water sector to ensure regular supply of potable water to the people.

The party would also implement measures that would ensure that the state and the district assemblies went into housing production to enable majority of Ghanaians had affordable shelter.

Mr Ahwoi repeated the NDC's resolve to set up another National Reconciliation Commission in the country and re-open investigations into the murder of the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani. He said the NDC had done a lot for the nation and was prepared to institute measures that would ensure the speedy development of the nation and appealed to the electorate to give the NDC another mandate to rule the nation.

Dr Tony Aidoo, former Deputy Minister of Defence said the NPP's property owning democracy and elitism philosophy had marginalized the majority of Ghanaians. He said the social democracy philosophy, which had been adopted by the NDC, would ensure that each individual was treated equally in society.

Dr Aidoo said Ghanaians had suffered a lot under the four-year rule of the NPP and urged the electorate to give the NDC another mandate to govern in order to promote unity, economic growth and social justice in society.

He said the NDC would implement policies that would enable Ghana come out of its HIPC status within the shortest possible time and also ensure the efficient and prudent distribution of the HIPC savings.

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