The removal of teacher and nurse trainee allowances by the government has resulted in untold hardships on students and parents, hence President John Mahama’s comments that he will not restore the allowances even if his decision will affect his chances of winning the elections, is “irresponsible”, Nana Ofori Kissi Ratina, Atiwa West Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.
According to him, presidents and political parties are elected to solve economic problems, thus, if certain decisions by the government are affecting the citizenry negatively, the government must, as a matter of urgency, reverse those decisions. In his view, for President Mahama to have turned a deaf ear to the cry of the students showed that he did not have the interest of the citizens at heart.
Mr Mahama recently told students of the University of Cape Coast that he would not restore the allowances even if that would cost him victory in the December 7 elections.
But Nana Ofori Kissi Ratina in a statement on Monday September 26 said Mr Mahama’s comment “is the most irresponsible statement that had ever been made by a civilian government in the political history of Ghana”, adding: “President Mahama must know that he is a civilian government and the fact that he likes wearing the military uniform doesn’t make his government a military government.”
“Political parties are voted into power to solve the problems confronting the citizenry rather than worsen it. The Mahama-led NDC government has worsened the plight of Ghanaians. The cancellation of the trainee allowances has brought untold hardship to these students and no one would expect a responsible government to come out with such statement.
“The allowance was introduced to motivate brilliant students into the teacher and nurse training colleges. A government which prioritises education and health won’t take such a reckless decision. Aside from the cancellation of the allowance, after graduation, posting also becomes a problem. Till date, there are nurses who have completed their course for years under Mahama’s government and yet haven’t been posted. Is this government responsible?”
The statement added: “Youth unemployment keeps escalating [plus] high cost of education; prices of goods and services keep soaring, companies keep laying workers off, corruption within government keeps worsening, government keeps taking from the masses in the name of dubious taxes. Are we serious to vote for this government again? The NDC government is ready to lay off workers in 2017 per IMF conditionalities for the bailout. Yet, the government keeps deceiving us.
“Mahama’s government, aside from corruption and what he termed as ‘exercise in mediocrity’, has not been able to achieve anything. Let’s vote for Nana Akufo-Addo (flag bearer of the NPP) and the NPP for jobs, for tax reduction which will eventually cause a fall in the cost of living and also cause the cost of production to come down as well and companies getting what it takes to employ. Nana Akufo-Addo has a vision for Ghanaians.”