The Presidential Advisor on National Security, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (retd), has incurred the displeasure of striking workers with his suggestion that workers who go on strike should not be paid.

Speaking in Accra at the weekend, Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah said the government should no longer tolerate the phenomenon of workers laying down their tools every now and then, instead of using dialogue to resolve their grievances.
?If anybody goes on strike, he should not be paid. If you cannot sacrifice for the country the way some of us have done, then get out,? he said.
But labour groups have reacted to the statement by the presidential advisor, describing it as distasteful and extremely provocative.
During the inauguration of? a nine-unit classroom block at the O?Reilly Senior High School at Okpoi-Gonno, Teshie, in the Ledzokuku-Krowor municipality on Saturday, Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah expressed worry over the increasing tendency among workers? groups to resort to strikes at the least opportunity to back their demand for better conditions of service.
Discipline is the bedrock of nation building
The National Security Advisor said it was a sad commentary, for instance, that doctors, who had sworn to abide by the Hippocratic Oath, could lay down their tools and issue ultimatum to the government while people died in the hospitals.
?We cannot build this nation without discipline,? he said, adding, ?We need to be disciplined if we are to move forward as a nation. We should stop complaining and stop passing the buck and solve the problems that confront our nation.?
Underscoring the necessity for the country to be self-dependent, Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah said Ghana could be built by Ghanaians themselves and not on the back of the Chinese alone.
?Nobody can build Ghana for us; we can build it ourselves,? he added.
On the nine-unit block, which he personally funded with the help of philanthropists, Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah said: ?The children were sitting in the sun and I couldn?t bear it. I had to apply military principles to get the job done within a short space of time. I was trying to demonstrate to the students how to become leaders of the future.?
He also donated GH?2,500 to support the school to solicit the services of the Metro Mass Transit to bus students to and from the school.
President John Dramani Mahama was the special guest at the ceremony.
Labour groups condemn Security Advisor?s statement
Reacting to the comments by the National Security Advisor, the President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, said if the National Security Advisor could make such comments, then Ghanaians were not safe.
He said with those comments by Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah, Ghana was in danger.
Dr Opoku-Adusei said he would leave Ghanaians to judge those comments themselves.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Kofi Asamoah, the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), told the Daily Graphic: ?The statement from the National Security Advisor sounds very distasteful and extremely provocative.?
He asked the security advisor to ?contribute to find solutions to the problems leading to the numerous labour agitations in the country, instead of just insulting workers?.
?Indeed, his statement is rather indiscipline,? Mr Asamoah added.
He said strikes were lawful, provided workers went through the processes in the Labour Law.
?So to say what he said rather means indiscipline ? perhaps we need to find out exactly what the problem is, instead of asking workers to leave the country if the kitchen is hot. He is rather frustrated so he should leave the country.
?This country belongs to all of us and we have nowhere to go, apart from contributing our quota towards national development. So if there are problems the way to handle them is not this wild statement.
?If you have nothing to say, you better keep quiet, instead of inciting and attacking workers generally,? Mr Asamoah stated.
CLOGSAG?s Response
For his part, Mr Samuel Nii Clottey Collison, the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG), wondered if the National Security Advisor had the authority to make those comments.
?What does he know about labour issues? The salary that he is taking now ? are civil servants even taking a quarter of it?? he asked.
?He said that because he is taking so much. If he should bother to know the salaries that civil servants take home, he wouldn?t make that statement,? he added.
?People serve for four years and they take huge sums of money home. Civil servants serve 20 to 30 years and if you see the amount of money that they take home, you will doubt it,? Mr Collison said.
?So political appointees should shut up if civil servants are talking about their salary,? he echoed several times.
Source-Edmund Smith Asante & Musah Yahaya Jafaru/Daily Graphic


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