Accept concerns of demonstrators in good faith

Three major events that occurred within the week: The anti-new parliament chamber campaign, the ‘Kum Yen Preko’ demonstration and the massing of angry contractors at the Ministry of Roads and Highways to demand payments of government contracts executed, have caught our attention.

In fact, we admire the maturity exhibited by Ghanaians in all these events, especially the peaceful demonstrations that took place under the banner of the Coalition for Social Justice, which occurred without any negative incidence.

Certainly, it was due to mutual faith between the demonstrators and personnel of the Ghana Police Service, who ensured law and order throughout the protests.

It gladdens our hearts that on the idea to construct a new parliament chamber, the government has put matters to rest by suspending the initiative. Indeed, this is the mark of a listening government.

The show of respect for sentiments by the demonstrators, police and government, is an ample manifestation that our democracy is growing, and we cherish the value of divergent and dissenting opinions.

Ghanaian Times believes that the peaceful demonstrations, picketing and other forms of expression of divergent views over public policy or decisions of government, especially when carried out with good intentions and in consonance with the laws of the country, are healthy for governance and helps in nation building.

We are aware that both the majority and the minority caucuses in parliament are working tirelessly to resolve any controversies that might arise between them, as they forge to reach consensus building, all in the interest of the country.

In fact, our Members of Parliament have no alternative than to tone down on their entrenched positions for the sake of peace, stability and progress, any time tempers flare up between them. 

Obviously, the people have many demands competing for the limited national resources. This explains why government occasionally takes hard decisions to get things done, no matter how unpalatable the moves might be.

Concerning the irate contractors, we add our voice to their request to the government to honour certificates for contracts executed to alleviate their plights.

Our cherished contractors are major stakeholders in national development, collaborating with government to execute infrastructural projects, to improve upon the lives of the people.

This relationship between the contractors and government, which is based on mutual trust, must be sustained.

Perhaps, there was a mix-up in communication between the two partners, resulting in the contractors besieging the ministry on Wednesday, to demand payments for contracts that were executed, but certificates had been outstanding.

The capability of the government to calm down the nerves of the affected contractors is not in dispute. We are aware of ongoing discussions, to resolve the issue.

It is our firm conviction that the government would consider the worry of the contractors, and speed up the processes to honour the outstanding certificates for the executed projects.

The action of the contractors at the ministry was rather unfortunate in view of the long standing relationship between them and government.

But, we expect the government to assure the contractors of expeditious payment of monies due them, and also address the concerns of other protestors or demonstrators.

It is our hope that the government in its efforts to move the nation forward, would continue to take on board different opinions of Ghanaians. After all, government exists in the interest of the people.

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