Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah has urged the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to postpone its upcoming National Delegates Conference.

According to him, the postponement will reflect government’s concern for the difficulties currently facing Ghanaians.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, he noted that given the prevailing challenges with the economy which has resulted in labour agitations, it will be insensitive for the NPP to go ahead with its planned Conference.

“Given the dire crisis facing our dear country, I’m appealing to the ruling NPP to consider postponing its planned national congress for the election of national officers this week. That will be a gesture to show that as a ruling party, it knows and cares about the ongoing national crisis.

The economy has been run aground. Multiple labour unions are on strike. Public basic schools have been closed across the country. Secondary schools are facing severe food shortage. We are not in normal times”, he wrote.

“This is time for national reflection, bi-partisan discussions and consensus building. This is not the time to be thinking and talking about winning the next election in 2024. As the ruling party, it will be quite insensitive to hold the national congress as planned”, Mr Braimah concluded.

'It will be quite insensitive to hold national congress as planned' - Sulemana Braimah to NPP
Sulemana Braimah’s Facebook comments on the NPP’s upcoming National Delegates Conference on Saturday

The advice by the MFWA boss ties into an earlier admonishment from a political science lecturer, Professor Ransford Gyampo.

According to Gyampo, the current agitations on the labour front may intensify if contestants display cash at the NPP’s upcoming National Delegates Conference.

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to organise its National Delegates Conference this weekend, to elect new national executives for the party.

Over the years, such conferences by political parties in Ghana have been characterised by vote-buying; with aspirants splashing monies to win the sympathy of delegates.

According to Professor Gyampo, if this happens at the NPP’s national executive elections on Saturday, it will cause stakeholders on the labour front to press harder for their demands.

“Part of what would moderate or fuel the stance of all demanding COLA and better salaries in this period of hardship, would be the monies that would be changing hands from now up to the end of Saturday, in the ruling party’s national leadership election”, he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

'It will be quite insensitive to hold national congress as planned' - Sulemana Braimah to NPP
Professor Ransford Gyampo’s Facebook comment on the relationship between cash displays at NPP’s National Delegates Conference and agitations on the labour front

Currently, some labour labour unions such as the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) have all laid down their tools, due to the failure of government to pay 20% of the basic salaries as Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

A meeting between the agitated workers and government to resolve the impasse ended in a stalemate on Tuesday, after the the representatives of the unions walked out of the discussions.

The latest group to also embark on a strike is the senior staff of the country’s public universities.

At a news conference at the main entrance of the University of Ghana this morning, members of the Senior Staff Association of the Universities of Ghana were asked by their leadership to “go home.”

Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health workers across the country have also served notice they will withdraw their services if the government fails to pay their Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

The unions include the Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives, Health Services Workers’ Union and Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association.

In a joint statement sighted by JoyNews, the joint health sector unions and professional associations said they will boycott both in-patient and out-patient services by August 1, 2022 if the government fails to address their concerns.

The associations say their resolve comes after a meeting between labour unions and the government on Tuesday, July 12, ended inconclusively.

Senior high schools in the country are also on the brink of a closure, due to the shortage of food.

It is in the light of these and other pertinent issues that Mr Braimah wants the NPP to postpone Delegates Conference slated for this Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Election Committee of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu has warned that the party will not countenance any acts of bribery and vote-buying in its upcoming national executive election.

According to him, such acts undermine the country’s constitutional democracy and therefore, his outfit will take steps to prevent their occurrence.

Addressing a press conference last week, Mr. Mac Manu said the Party’s leadership has consequently arranged with the Police to ensure that the process is devoid of any happenings that could mar the process.

“All aspirants and or their agents are therefore warned not to engage in any untoward behaviour that can be interpreted as bribery within the meaning of the Representative of People’s Law 1992, PNDC Law 284, which are serious criminal offences.

The National Election Committee has therefore engaged the Ghana Police Service whose officers will be on the election grounds to strictly enforce the laws and arrest anyone found to be in the breach of PNDC law 284. There’s a law in this country that covers bribery and we’re going to enforce it”, he cautioned.