The Critics Are Wrong!

August 9, 2014

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is rather interesting that in the lead-up to the July 31 massive labor demonstrations that rocked the country, some critics of the Trades Union Congress-sponsored protests were asking about the relevance and/or productiveness of such industrial actions. But even as the anti-corruption crusader and vanguard financial analyst Mr. Sydney Casely-Hayford rightly pointed out, such demonstrations are only initially meant to serve as a serious signal to the executive branch of government that the Ghanaian worker is not going to be passively led by the nose into an insufferable state of abject deprivation, while mediocre cabinet appointees literally lived high on the hog (See “Constant Demonstrations Will Yield Results – Casely-Hayford” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/27/14).

But what is inescapably ironic, if also because it is laden with brazen hypocrisy, is the fact that a remarkable number of the critics of the most recent labor action were themselves Members of Parliament who spent the better part of the mid-1990s and the first decade of the twenty-first century incessantly boycotting parliamentary proceedings and getting fully paid for doing so. And this is precisely why I couldn’t feel any more amused when the rambunctious Deputy Education Minister for Tertiary Institutions came out the other day threatening to withhold the salaries of Polytechnic tutors and lecturers fighting for better service conditions.

I have always maintained that the Ghanaian public academy would not amount to much, as long as we have in high positions of trust people who have absolutely no respect for the intellectual, cultural and technological development of the country. And this is also precisely where I unreservedly concur with Mr. Casely-Hayford that as long as the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) adamantly sticks to its guns, on the need for instrctors of tertiary academies to be provided with the optimum amount of pedagogical tools to facilitate the adequate performance of their work, by all means, let the strike continue.

It ought to be very clear to the Ghanaian voter who put such a rag-tag team of administrative misfits into the Flagstaff House and our government ministries, by now, that so flagrantly out of touch are these overpaid and incurably corrupt administrators that the long-term impact of the ongoing tools-downing by the polytechnic edcators is among the least bit of their worries. Maybe here also, the Mahama posse had better devise a means of exporting substitute instructors/tutors from abroad and see just what results it comes up with, just as not very long ago the President and his former Health Minister callously attempted to break the back of striking Ghanaian doctors by threatening to import medical scabs from Cuba.

Those cynical critics of striking workers had also better be told that the most immediate and significant objective of all industrial actions is to signal the relevant authorities that gross economic mismanagement will not be tolerated for any much longer than it ought to, if at all. And here also, once again, even as Mr. Casely-Hayford so poignantly and characteristically put it, Ghana “currently needs good governance, and so it is critical for citizens to keep focusing on issues which are preventing the nation from becoming a truly democratic country.”

It also disturbingly appears that some of the most vociferous critics of the TUC-sponsored demonstrations had not paid attention nearly as they needed to, which is why in the lead-up to this daylong massive industrial action these critics were to be heard vacuously admonishing the TUC leaders to engage the government in a roundtable dialogue over tons of Yor-Ke-Garri and orange juice. I am not on state side, but I have been closely watching Kofi Asamoah and his associates jaw-jaw it with President Mahama for the better part of a year before the July 31 industrial action.

Significantly, though, whereas my dear friend Sydney would have the Attorney-General entrusted with prosecutorial powers, I would rather have our Justice Ministry totally disengaged from the epic scam that is the judgment-debt regime. Let the Finance Ministry and its staff of lawyers deal with this seamy and bizarre aspect of Fourth Republican Ghanaian political culture. And then I would be able to unreservedly concur with Big Brother Sydney on the need for the Attorney-General to be granted prosecutorial powers.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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