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29.07.2019 Letter

An Open Letter To The Ghana Registered Nurses And Midwives Association (grnma) Aspirants -Part 1

By Raphael Kumah Abolasom

Greetings from a lone voice! It is unusual of me and as an African, but permit me to skip the courtesies and pleasantries and zoom straight to point. Aspirants, what GRNMA needs right now is not mere rhetoric, neither catchy campaign banners nor frivolously concocted campaign messages and promises, but leadership with “hairy balls”, courageous enough to influence relevant policies.

Ruth First, in her book “The Barrel of a Gun” published in 1970 had this to say… “Politicians are men who compete with each other for power, not men who use power to confront their country's problems." My question is, are you competing for power or an opportunity to solve the horrendous problems of GRNMA?

At this crucial moment in time, we do not need leadership that cannot call the shots when huge numbers of their members are currently at home with no jobs, but left at the mercy of the Ghanaian politician. What is the professional bargaining right of the Ghanaian Nurse? The Nursing fraternity do not need leadership that knows virtually nothing about how its members get their jobs, yet quickly jump to deduct astronomical dues.

Of course, others will argue, that associations’ dues are as a result of majority decision, but you would also agree, if humble enough, that where there is transformational leadership, a leader’s followers rally behind him! The pertinent question those claimants need to ask themselves is, did the nursing fraternity rally behind leadership for their “majority decision” to skyrocket levies and dues? Well, let’s leave that answer to the gods of our forefathers.

The 21st century Nurse have had a taste of the philosophical fruit of the garden of Eden and has become smarter and won’t be cowed into supporting policies that do not inure to his benefit. I guess you’ve seen or heard the case before the legal AID in Upper West, filed and being pursued by a member, against the union regarding deductions; this is just the beginning of the many more to come - “an Arab spring in the nursing fraternity”.

Of course, whether we like it or not, a new crop of GRNMA leadership will emerge, and it is inevitable, that we won’t get everyone that will be elected to be a good leader, but at least we want the bad and not the worse. All of us, and I mean each and every one of us, belongs to political party A or B and certain caucuses; this should however not be enough reason for us to take decisions which has the tenacity to stifle and alienate the interest of the GRNMA.

A leadership which will have no backdoor dealing with politicians against the interest of its members is what we seek. Partisan politics have destroyed us for so long a time, that we need to castrate and possibly behead it. Last but not least, we do not need a GRNMA leadership whose loyalty we cannot be sure of. There are some executives who belong to other professional unions. For instance, where lies the loyalty of A GRNMA executive who doubles as a member of say, the physician assistants’ association of Ghana? No one is saying they should not be members, but for such persons to hold executive positions is very questionable and a recipe for “corporate espionage” It is for this same reason, that in Ghana, people who hold dual citizenship are barred from contesting mostly political offices.

I will be back!
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