APC founder Hassan Ayariga has expressed worry over the myriad national issues facing the country.
Speaking about the state of insecurity in the country at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 29 June 2021, Mr Ayariga said the ministry responsible for National Security has not lived up to expectation.
According to the leader of the All People's Congress (APC), the situation is at its worst state because “armed robbers are now attacking at public places in broad daylight. Mobile money operators are being killed on a daily basis. Traders and businessmen are not safe. Police officials themselves are killed like never before. In all these, no person or appointee of the government take responsibility for the fear and panic Ghanaians are in now.”
He alleged that operatives of national security have turned themselves into “criminal gangs and are criminally attacking citizens in an effort to loot and plunder whatever they can lay their hands on - gold, land and money.”
Touching on #FixTheCountry campaign, the 2020 presidential candidate of the APC wondered if it has become a crime to assemble, demonstrate and demand that the government and duty bearers fix the country.
“It is our constitutional right to do so and whoever is preventing these campaigners should now bury his head in shame,” he said.
Mr Ayariga condemned the police from preventing the demonstrators from protesting saying “if we sit unconcerned and allow the police and government in power to intimidate citizens, then I’m afraid one day another party in power will use police and military to prevent our constitutional right to even vote.”
“Where are the religious bodies? Where are the academics? Where are the Chiefs? Where are the political parties and the stakeholders?” he quizzed.
He further spoke on issues of youth unemployment and matters concerning the economy.
Below is the full statement delivered by Mr Ayariga:
APC PRESS CONFERENCE ON NATIONAL ISSUES
The current state of our country is killing the souls of our otherwise resilient citizens, piercing the hearts of the vulnerable, and has sent us to the point where silence is killing the country and many are asking when we will really be free and will there be justice?
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you so much for attending this very important press briefing even at a very short notice. Your unflinching support in strengthening our democracy, safeguarding and protecting our constitution has been tremendous. Admittedly some of you in the media do also have shortcomings. Notwithstanding, you are part of the few success stories of our democracy today.
I call you here today in my capacity as a citizen first before my party, The All People’s Congress (APC). The day has come for me to add my voice and speak up to power as done by others, so that we can collectively make Ghana a safer and better place to live.
Members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in our history, we have a ministry responsible for National Security that does not live up to the expectation of providing our security. The situation is at its worst state as I speak now. Armed robbers are now attacking at public places in broad daylight. Mobile money operators are being killed on a daily basis. Traders and businessmen are not safe. Police officials themselves are killed like never before. In all these, no person or appointee of the government take responsibility for the fear and panic Ghanaians are in now.
Worse still, even so-called operatives of National Security have turned themselves into criminal gangs and are criminally attacking citizens in an effort to loot and plunder whatever they can lay their hands-on - gold, land and money. Some of our men in uniforms are grabbing peoples land forcefully using state powers to carry out such disgraceful act and no one says anything. The integrity of our uniformed men has never been at its lowest since before the revolution of 1979.
Why would citizens of this country not have their own freedom to own properties and be protected against these undemocratic and inhumane actions. This doesn’t befit us as a country. It is not one of our social and moral values, especially as Muslims and Christians of this our dear country. We were founded on the values of freedom and justice.
The lawlessness is one too many and something must be done now to curb the situation from getting to the uncontrollably situation, even though, we know Ghana is not like heaven to possess heavenly features but we are human beings too, and our lives are important to our families and the country. From 2017-2021, six (6) incidences of bullion attacks have been recorded and this calls for grave concern.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, when has it become a crime to assemble, demonstrate and demand that government and duty bearers should fix the country? It is our constitutional right to do so and whoever is preventing these campaigners should now burry his head in shame.
We must all come out to condemn this act by the police and the people responsible for such acts. If we sit unconcerned and allow the police and government in power to intimidate citizens, then am afraid one day another party in power will use police and military to prevent our constitutional right to even vote. Where are the religious bodies? Where are the academics? Where are the Chiefs? Where are the political parties and the stakeholders?
Why would a President who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the country refuse these peaceful demonstrators the opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights? In any case, did the President not use such events to nurse and promote his Presidential ambition? If it was forbidden, why was he given the chance to do so? The current president has participated in 54 demonstrations. One of it was KUMEPREKO. The NPP whilst in opposition in 2009-2016 were allowed to demonstrate on so many occasions. Why are they preventing citizens who voted them to power, from exercising their civic right of holding government to their stewardship.
It is even funny and scary to use Covid-19 restrictions as a means of forcefully preventing them from demonstrating, when this same government held rallies and campaigns without honoring any of their own directives and covid-19 protocols. There are several instances where government brazenly defied their own rules and one of such is Sir. John's (May his Soul rest in Peace) burial day. We all saw what happened on that day, no one adhered to any of the protocols including the President, leading members of the party and other government appointees.
This country is on its knees due to the loud silence from the Clergy, Peace Council, some civil society organizations whose voices have always been loud enough at other times but have suddenly gone to sleep and not awaken. What has changed? Let’s rise above pettiness and greed, let’s speak truth to power and save our country from sinking. The people of Ghana are suffering, some cannot even afford three square meals a day. The hardship is killing people slowly. Let’s not be wicked and refuse to talk on behalf of our people who do not have a voice of their own. Fuel prices and other utility tariffs are on the rise almost every time, transport fares are increased every week and thereby worsening the plight of the citizens. Many are in deplorable situations and those in government don’t seem to care. A single Tomato now goes for 1Gh.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnesses to the unemployment problems of the country which is hitting hard on the youth and all we hear from this government are empty talks and without nothing to show. The NABCO policy is further increasing the plight of the youth. Some of them are posted far away from their homes, feeding themselves without being paid by government. Aside from that, these are not permanent and sustainable jobs. But this was done to deceive people and win an election. The government did it, and here we are today back to square one.
Ghana needs well-planned policies, strong institutions and competent leaders to put the COUNTRY first.
The recent rainfall which led to flooding in most areas especially, in Ashanti and Greater Accra regions has exposed how inept we are in planning. What did we learnt from the June 3rd disaster that shocked the nation and took the lives of many innocent people and loss of properties. We train engineers every year yet we don’t engage them in the productive sector to delve into our numerous and urgent issues of town planning, and enhancing laws to prevent people from building at water ways which cause blockage of the free flow of water. We all need to be part of building this nation through advocacy, and speak against the culture of silence which is a reality and that has contributed significantly to the emboldened misuse of state power and abuses.
The government has not shown any leadership in these pressing issues, and one would like to ask if President Nana Akufo-Addo we knew years back, as a human rights advocate is still the same person. I want to ask our dear President what has changed. I have never heard and seen this kind of selective and convenience of principle. What I do know is that principle is principle and it should be applied at all instances even if it conflicts with the person's interest.
The recent judgment debt is an indication of how rotten and porous our system is. How can we sit down and delay in representing the state at the court in England and lose the case against GPGC and awarded a judgment debt of $170 million. Our lack of pure negligence has cost the nation these huge sums of money to a foreign company whilst our citizens are dying in hospitals due to inadequate hospital beds and other health equipment. What is even sad in all this, is the fact that Ghana is now going to pay a whopping USD$170 million as judgement debt to a private company for a deal that would have caused the nation USD$99.6 million over the full four (4)-year duration of the Agreement. That is, if the Agreement had been maintained and not terminated by the Current government.
Our country debts are at the highest peak and one would wonder how we got there? We can’t continue borrowing when we can manage our country without borrowing. Enough of policies and laws that don’t inure to the benefit of any person. Our debt stock is 78% of our GDP. We have borrowed so much and yet, we don’t have good roads, we don’t have enough hospitals, we are still struggling to build schools, we are still struggling to build markets and have nothing to show for our huge debt stock.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you are positioned at the good side of history to protect the integrity of our constitution and each of you here have to discharge that duty without fear or favor. The citizens are relying on you for the best of information to make their choices that will benefit them better.
Since the inception of our multi-party democracy in 1992, Successive Governments over the years have presented to the good people of Ghana the state of the Nation's address from a brighter point of view just to promote their Government instead of presenting the real facts to the good People of Ghana. The All People's Congress (APC) invited you here today to discuss the true state of the Nation.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media. Ghana Police Service and the campaigners of #FixTheCountry have moved from the commercial court to High and now to the Supreme Court all because of demonstration. Much us we agree with the campaigners of #FixTheCountry to some extent, we in the APC still believe Ghana needs more than just fixing it. Our beloved Country Ghana is at a state that needs to be rescued from the Chinese and other Nationals who have acquired lands and properties at sensitive areas. Our focus now as a country should be how to save Ghana from these foreign nationals.
Free SHS policy has become a disaster and Teachers, headmasters and parents cannot intervene because of fear of intimidation and dismissal. Parents are now obliged to pay more under Free education than before. This is because they now pay private teachers and accommodation for their wards who are placed at far distance. Students are unable to complete their syllabus before the semester end. Our academic standards have fallen below educational standards. Our children are becoming indiscipline and irresponsible.
The recent robberies in Ghana emerged on the scenes because of the closure of the galamsey operations. Even though it is a good exercise to save our water bodies, these galamsey miners should have been reallocated lands far from our water bodies and control their operations legally. Majority of ex-convicts found the galamsey work as safe place without discrimination in search of jobs. Because most of them couldn't find alternative jobs after being sacked from their galamsey activities, they resorted to risky and criminal activities happening in town recently.
Most miners find it difficult to adjust to normal society lifestyles after being shown the exit not to continue mining. Consensus building with galamsey stakeholders and providing alternative livelihood in my view shall end the needless and risky robberies in Ghana.
Policing in the 21st century has assumed enormous challenges which requires due diligence in building lasting public-private partnerships networking and collaboration among all stakeholders of society and the world. One of Harvard university business school leadership publication indicated that one of the best leadership traits in recent times is the adoption of Emotional intelligence. We have more retired police officers as civilians than those currently in office yet the police is still grappling with crime and other challenges. I believe most police officers would agree with me that their conditions of service and logistics needs improvement. The police should also examine and re-evaluate and benchmark their performances with their peers within the best policing countries of the world and emulate their best practices.
We need to build a formidable consensus between the police and the citizens as far as public-private partnership relationship is concerned. Our police must understand that they cannot succeed without the cooperation of the public citizens which includes their own retired officers. Retired officers should try and build holistic and mutual respect relations within their communities. Once we interact among ourselves with the police as brethren by willing to divulge information for the public good without fear or favour I believe our society will be safer for all.
Our civilians should be actively involved by giving retired policemen and women with civilian identification codes to impart messages by mobile phone without mentioning names. It is obvious that crimes in all forms emanates from the citizens and the same citizens can be inspired, motivated to cooperate with the police in curbing crimes. The police must ensure their modus operandi is no respecter of nepotism, tribalism, ethical abuses, favouritism and marginalisation of hard-working officers.
I trust our police council should reconsider going back to the drawing board and incorporate best practices values and ethics which translates into offering trained police officers impacting positively on our security as far as our society is concerned. I believe the recent attacks and its ramifications has heightened our state of insecurity as a nation. I want to hear and see our citizens saying good things about our police and applauding their swift and bold interventions by curbing all forms of crimes in making our society safe for all.
It is worth mentioning that the devil finds job for the idle hand. It is disputable but that has become synonymous with any public or society seeking to find solutions for the overwhelming unemployed youth. We always say that governance is government of the people for the people by the people. It juxtaposes ideology that governance functioning methodologies and programs must be geared towards fulfilling the needs and aspirations of her people because governance is about the people.
Recent comments and agitation by civil society and diverse stakeholders voices asking government to fix the country brings to the fore social unrest and lack of confidence in our society by the masses. Though covid-19 has impacted negatively on the entire world and it's attended socioeconomic ramifications I still believe citizens can dialogue with government by embarking on peaceful demonstrations with the observance of COVID 19 protocols for the good of society. Indeed, the whole world is grappling with one challenge or the other but our current unemployment rate and rising national debt requires national consensus building to unravel the mysteries of our unique challenges.
Recent public agitations asking government to fix the country means all is not well with Ghanaians both home and abroad. The APC party believe government can do better than is doing now. A holistic national conference consensus building with all stakeholders with the theme, ‘the solutions to our socioeconomic challenges’ in my view can calm tempers when Ghana accords the citizens a listening ear to build mutual understanding. No individual party can solve the challenges of the economy.
All over the world good corporate governance is anchored on formidable team building be it democratic or socialist states. We can rise above our entrenched partisan politics and manage our economies for the betterment of all. Permit me to borrow the words of honourable Kennedy Agyapong when he said NPP, NDC, CPP and all are bogus during the launching of his cardio building project for the 37 military hospital. Is true that the parties are bogus if we are not able to meet the needs of our people as Ghanaians, I resonate with his honest submission. Is about time we all put our shoulders to the wheels and work hard by ensuring we provide our people with jobs opportunities to realise their unique potentials.
The lack of redistribution of income among our youth automatically grinds the wheels of development to a halt, no wonder suppliers and industry players are all complaining that government should fix the economy. When demand fails to absorb supply of goods and services for lack of money society becomes useless. It is similar to incurring cost in training professionals without jobs it makes potentially skill labour be useless.
Finally, I believe government should open their doors and embrace holistic dialogue which fosters inclusion and mutual respect for all. Businesses have shut down on a massive scale. Exim mobile, Tigo, Vodafone and many other companies existing from our country speaks volumes of our business risk volatility as a country. Our economy stock exchange is not equally performing well to roll onboard new businesses so it is obvious we have to fix our country for all. The current state of our economy calls for think tanks to dialogue with all stakeholders. I think we could have adapted better alternative ways of resolving our banking sector clean-up exercise without cost to the government through public-private partnerships investors intervention. I trust we can all do better through national consensus building.
Dr. Hassan Ayariga
APC LEADER/ FOUNDER
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