The leader of the 3000 ex-workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority whose severance benefits have remained unpaid since they were retrenched in 2002, Stephen Ashitey Adjei, feels slighted over what he calls fanciful showmanship by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Speaking at a press conference in Tema yesterday, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, who goes by the popular alias, Moshake, said President Akufo-Addo’s meeting with the living former Presidents of Ghana while government machine itself is struggling to take off is a matter of misplaced priority.
“it’s been 100 days and counting since the Akufo-Addo regime came into office and many important things that need to be in place before the government can fully take off are still pending….the appointments of District Chief Executives and Chief Executives of public corporations for instance are still pending conclusion and yet you have time to go and hang out with former Presidents,” Moshake scoffed.
But of all reasons, the one that goes to the heart of Moshake’s displeasure is the pending payment of severance benefits due himself and the 3,000 ex workers of GPHA.
After they were retrenched in 2002, the 3,000 former employees of the GPHA have remained unpaid of their severance benefits. Efforts to get paid have allegedly been thwarted by the long hands of the GPHA and led to a strange situation in which only five out of the 3,000 have been paid.
Moshake revealed that he and his comrades have been waiting with bated breath for the Akufo-Addo regime to jostle into place so that they can take up the matter with the new government.
However, while they had seen reason to give the new government space to find its bearing, the President has not utilized the first 100 days honeymoon period to set up the new statecraft with many important appointments, including those of many MMDCEs, pending.
“And yet the President sees it fit to go and hold a fanciful convocation with former Presidents, who, compared to many ordinary Ghanaians, do not have too many headaches,” Moshake fumed.
President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, this week, met with former Presidents Jerrry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama. The meeting had been heralded with a poignant government statement that did not reveal any purpose to it.
The agenda and outcome has since still remained a secret, save for a terse government statement that said the President had consulted on major national policies in the offing.
Apart from that the meeting hosted by the very government whose leader has been accused by the minority National Democratic Congress of splurging money on lavish Presidential parties that featured custom-made drinks embossed with President Akufo-Addo’s name, does not seem to have been to any great purpose.
Moshake reminded the President in his press statement that there are many important things that are waiting for his attention, including the severance benefits of the 3,000 ex employees of the GPHA.
He said hints that the meeting with the former Presidents was meant to show national unity are misplaced because the very ex-Presidents that President Akufo-Addo met with had been at his investiture on January 7, this year.
“I will advise the government to leave out all idle gestures and get down to business. The President told us he is in a hurry, we want to see him walk that talk….let the President tidy the various appointments pending for the various government agencies and start the real work on the ground,” Moshake said.
He served notice that once the honeymoon is now over the 3,000 ex- employees of the GPHA will soon be knocking on government’s door for justice.
Out of the 3,000 former employees of the GPHA who were retrenched in 2002, only five have had their severance benefits fully paid to them. The remainder colleagues have been fighting for justice in the past 14 years, with many dying of melancholy and abject poverty while one person has gone mad.
He urged the President not to allow any group of persons to dictate to him.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels