JJ, Kufuor

Ever since the alleged demands being made by doctors working in the public sector were made public, the debate over their strike called by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has moved from intellectual analysis to pure insults on the airwaves.
One of the executive members of the GMA, Dr. Frank Siriboe, is alleged to have used the word ?idiot? against the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy General Secretary, George Lawson, who had earlier gone haywire, using unprintable words against the striking doctors.

Regrettably, whilst these insults are going on, innocent Ghanaians are losing their lives. There were media reports on Monday that three patients had died at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, because there was no doctor to attend to the departed patients who were rushed there by their relatives.

The Chronicle does not think this trend, where innocent people are losing their lives, must be allowed to continue.  We are, therefore, appealing to the two former heads of state, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, and all the highly respected pastors in the country, to intervene in the doctors-government impasse in the interest of the state.

As former rulers of this country, Messrs. Rawlings and Kufuor know how to handle such situations when they arise. Besides this, the two are now above the partisan politics going on in the country, and would, therefore, be listened to if they should head the negotiation team.

Our appeal to the two former heads of state should not, however, be misconstrued to mean that Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, who is leading the government negotiation team, is incompetent.

No, this is not what we are suggesting. The competence of the Tamale South Member of Parliament is not in doubt. He has already demonstrated to Ghanaians that he is intellectually endowed, and knows what to say at the right time.

But, despite all these accolades we are showering on him, Mr. Iddrisu would be the first person to admit that some of his own party members are making his work rather difficult, based on their public utterances.

The executive members of the GMA may have their political biases, but to tag all of them as anti-NDC, who must be dragged to the gallows for slaughter, is the worst form of political communication.

Much as we do not subscribe to the use of the word ?idiot? by Dr. Siriboe, and, therefore, call on him to withdraw and apologise for it, the insult was precipitated by the earlier uncharitable words used by the NDC Deputy General Secretary, who ought to have known that, as a member of the ruling party, he should be diplomatic with the choice of words when dealing with explosive matters such as the doctors? strike.

As it stands now, the atmosphere has been poisoned by the government communicators, who should have allowed the public to rather debate the alleged allowances being demanded by the striking doctors, instead of joining the fray and throwing tantrums under the least provocation.

This is the reason why The Chronicle thinks Messrs. Kufuor and Rawlings must intervene as elderly statesmen to resolve the impasse amicably. If the allowances being demanded by the doctors cannot be contained by the economy, only negotiations, devoid of insults, must be used to cajole them to scale down their demand.  We hope the NDC communicators are listening to us.

Source: The Chronicle

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