A cross section of some dissatisfied Ghanaians have been demonstrating to press home their displeasure with what they describe as insensitive economic policies being implemented by President John Kufuor’s government. The Committee for Joint Action (CJA), a political pressure group organized the demonstrations. The group says President Kufuor has reneged on his promise to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary Ghanaian.
But Kufuor’s government said the allegations are unfounded. Bernard Morna is a lead organizer of CJA. From Ghana’s capital Accra, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that President Kufuor’s government is tactless to the plight of the masses.
“Let me start by saying that from 1998 to the year 2000, and indeed from 1995 or early the then NPP (New Patriotic Party) presidential candidate J. A. Kufuor had joined some members of the then opposition and went on a series of demonstrations in this country against what he called escalating cost of living in Ghana. Opposition leader / candidate Kufuor described the then regime as insensitive, criminal and economic shortsighted… but now the Kufuor government is insensitive to the plight of the people of Ghana constantly increasing prizes on every item and for every opportunity they find they want to increase the prize of goods and services, even when the people are crying. The people of Ghana must resist this order,” Morna said.
He denied popular belief that President Kufuor’s government has improved economic conditions in the country as shown by some economic indicators.
“Let me respond quickly by saying that if you take the macro economic indicators as projected by the Kufuor administration then you would have caused to let me call it to believe some how in these indicators. But the reality is that if a government deliberately decides not to pay teachers their salary arrears from 2005 to 2007, but the question you ask yourself is how long can this inflation be sustained? Because it is an artificial creation, you owe the people and you must pay. Government has not done so, so those who claim that the economy is doing well, it is worse,” he opined.
Morna questioned what he said are claims by President Kufuor’s administration that it has allowed dissenting views in the country.
“That is preposterous. The Kufuor administration has no mandate to deny anybody in this country the right of demonstration. The 1992 constitution exercised that freedom of association, freedom of expression except that any government would want to undermine that. Even in opposition we joined hand with then candidate Kufuor and we all went on several demonstrations including “Yabre” demonstrations, “Sieme Preko” demonstrations, “Wieme Preko” demonstrations and “Kume Preko” demonstrations,” Morna pointed out.
He said freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution contrary to what he described as claims by President Kufuor’s administration.
“So, that enjoyment of our right of expression is not being guaranteed or we are not enjoying at the behest of Kufuor administration. But because it is a constitutional right that the people of Ghana fought to attain. And therefore, for anyone to suggest that the fact that we have been able to go on demonstrations is to show that Kufuor’s administration accepts dissenting views is only to beg the question,” he noted.