Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has appealed to members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to consider the ultimate suffering of the majority of Ghanaians and call off their strike to save an eminent danger.
He appealed to the government to reach out with evident concern, transparency, and decorum and spirit of conciliation in the dialogue and negotiation with the GMA, as well as other public sector employees.
Former President Kufour said this during the confirmation of an Honorary Doctorate Degree on him and three other distinguished personalities by the University of Education, Winneba at the Winneba campus of the University.
The other awardees included Rev. Dr Livingstone K. Buama, former acting Chairman of the Council of the University of Education, Winneba; Alhaji Gibrine Adam, Chief Executive officer of EPP Books, and President of Zenith University College; and Prof. Michael Shattock of the University of London, United Kingdom.
They were honoured for their contribution towards the promotion of education and their commitment towards the cause of humanity.
Mr Kufuor further urged members of the GMA to refrain from causing irreparable damage to the nation with the strike and their decision to resign en bloc and pleaded that the strike should be curtailed.
He pleaded with members of the GMA to look at the ultimate humanitarian considerations for the suffering masses, adding that they had strongly made their case.
“The nation, I believe, will appreciate such compromises and will not forget such a compromise that you will make,” he said.
He also appealed with other public sector employees who were pursuing or were threatening industrial action against the state, to dialogue for an amicable solution to their concerns.
Mr Kufuor expressed concern about the country’s over dependency on export of raw materials which he said had been the bane of the cedi depreciating against the major currencies.
The country, he said, did not lack talent but the adoption of the right polices and resolute and focused national political will would empower the private sector to lead the way in the drive to add value on goods for export.
“Unfortunately the private sector in the country had not been nurtured and empowered since independence, to play this critical role,” he said.
On education, former President Kufuor expressed worry about the falling standard of education in the country with particular reference to the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The leakage of examination papers prior to the examination, he said, should be the concern of all and also advocated the adoption of pragmatic policies to improve the performance of students in subsequent examinations.
On peace and security, he called on Ghanaians and Africans in general to rally behind each other in the promotion of peace and security on the African continent.
He paid tribute to the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah for laying the foundation for the establishment of the university.
The President, John Dramani Mahama, in an address read on his behalf, commended the University for its contribution towards the promotion of quality education in the country.
He acknowledged the contribution of the award winners for their contributions in their various fields of endeavour.
He applauded former President Kufuor for his vision in introducing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), free maternal care for pregnant women and other interventions.
“Ghana will forever remember you with this when recounting history of the nation’s development” he said.
President Mahama appealed to the various public sector employees, including members of the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG), to call off their strike action as government address their grievances.
He expressed concern about the politicisation of issues in the country explaining that such act was rather dividing the nation.
He, therefore, expressed the government’s commitment in engaging with all political parties in finding how best to reverse the politicisation of the nation, saying, “Ghana needs peace to develop”.
From David O.Yarboi-Tetteh, Winneba