Yesterday, the National Democratic Congress, now controlled by John Mahama, and its allies managed to carry out its ‘Yentua Demonstration’.
Mostly made up of uninformed informal economy actors, unemployed youth bussed from indigenous Accra and the Zongos as well as hard-core party apparatchiki, the demonstration, which took off at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra, ended ‘successfully’ at the Parliament House in Accra where a petition was presented to leaders of the House.
But snippets of complaints the leaders highlighted on social and regular media intriguingly appeared to affirm the perception that the NDC is simply confusing the issues, as its leaders made reference to lecturers on strike and students forced to leave campus because of the UTAG strike.
The NDC had earlier griped about the quantum of E-Levy and advocated its review downwards. From there, they had urged more consultations and an appearance on the floor of the House by the Minister of Finance to meet the leadership of the Minority to ‘explain himself better.’
But the NDC’s concerns have also been about alleged “people’s complaints” from the ground as well as non-commitment on the part of a small group of hastily-assembled group calling itself the Association of Mobile Money Operators to support the implementation processes.
Subsequently, it would be difficulties in implementation, followed by the ‘illiterate’ claims by the usually measured Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who believes the legal battle faced by the Assin North MP is a government attempt to reduce NDC’s capacity to resist the passage of the E-Levy Bill.
We commend the NDC and its allies for the peaceful demonstration and also the Ghana Police Service for a perfect monitoring exercise. While doing that, we believe it is still within the mandate of the NDC to be part of the solution instead of being the barrier to a programme that would raise the bar for future political engagement and good governance.
As the NDC would admit, the issue of raising optimal revenue to overhaul our rundown infrastructure, including roads, educational and health delivery amenities, or create jobs and enhance food security, among others, are basic challenges any government that means well for the citizenry would seek to tackle.
That puts a collective responsibility on all political stakeholders to think and act Ghana in agreeing on an enduring solution, instead of finding political opportunities in spilling bile and venom on the political space that we have been privileged to lead.
We had thought that when Parliament insisted that the Finance Minister moved out and engaged the citizenry through the Town Hall Meetings and submit a reviewed document, the leading opposition party and its Minority in Parliament were being objective and patriotic, or even professional and sincere.
Let’s all join the party
At this point, when the image of government is still positive at the level of the international development and business communities, we believe it is time for the NDC to join the party.
This, in our opinion, is honourable than persisting in the obvious mischief in which the only beneficiary is a flagbearer aspirant who is confronted with the spectre of being defeated thrice on the trot, and paling into insignificance on an awful record of governance.
As for the innocent youth still following the NDC ‘crowd’, we believe they deserve pity, not censure. It is also the prayer and hope of the Daily Statesman that time would deal graciously with their situation when they awaken to the reality that prosperity is possible under good leadership.