At May Day celebration in Accra: Let’s protect our democracy …President Akufo-Addo tells organised labour

The President, Nana Addo Dank­wa Akufo-Addo, has called on organised labour to work towards ensuring that the country’s record as a beacon of democracy and peace is protected before, during and after the December general election.

At the national parade to mark the celebration of this year’s Labour Day at the Independence Square at Accra, he said the coun­try had come too far to lose out on this record, just for the sake of an election.

President Akufo-Addo (second from left) and Dr Bawumia waving back the workers at the Independence Square in Accra. Photos. Ebo Gorman
President Akufo-Addo (second from left) and Dr Bawumia waving back the workers at the Independence Square in Accra. Photos. Ebo Gorman

“Ghana’s track record as a bas­tion of democracy and peace, is an enviable one that needs protection. Our democratic processes have stood the test of time, especially under the Fourth Republic.

“We have undertaken so far, eight successive elections, whose results have given rise to three peaceful transfer of power from one party to another since 1992,” he said.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Election 2024: the role of workers and social partners in securing peaceful elections for national development.”

Workers of Industrial and Commercial union of ICU marching
Workers of Industrial and Commercial union of ICU marching

The President said he was confident that the country would emerge stronger, more united, and more capable of advancing her development goals once again like in all the previous elections.

He noted that workers as the backbone of the country had special roles to play in shaping the outcome of elections, adding that “Your voices matter and your par­ticipation in the electoral process is essential to ensuring that the con­cerns and aspirations of working people are adequately represented in our governance structure.”

President Akufo-Addo explained that as social partners, labour had an important role to defend and uphold the ideals of the 1992 Constitution.

Workers of New Times Corporation marching
Workers of New Times Corporation marching

In this direction, he said it was important that workers continued to act with utmost professionalism and responsibility.

He used the occasion to com­mend labour for their unflinching support for his government over the last seven years and pledged to continue to work towards a harmonious labour government relationship.

The President also used the occasion to apologise to Ghanaians for the intermittent power cuts being experienced over the past few weeks and assured that all the necessary efforts were being put in place to ensure that the country did not return to the dreaded phenom­enon of “dumsor”.

The Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, Dr Yaw Baah, in his remarks stated that workers and families were grappling with high cost of living and inflation of over 25 per cent.

He stressed the need for workers to work hand-in-hand for peace, adding that it required “patience, tolerance and respect for one another.”

The Secretary General said security agencies must be properly equipped to deal with anybody who would attempt to deny Gha­naians the peace we are enjoying.

“Churches and mosques must not only continue to pray for peace but they should also preach peace,” he added.

Dr Baah expressed concern about the government’s failure to pay first- tier pension contributions to Social Security and National Insurance Trust.

Also in attendance were Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Minister for Employ­ment, Labour Relations and Pen­sion, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Members of Parliament, leadership of organised labour, the Inspec­tor General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, Secre­tary General of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Mr Arezki Mezhoud and the diplomatic corps among others.

Thousands of workers defied the early downpour to converge on the Independence Square for the celebration amidst dancing, blowing of vuvuzela.

They welded placards with inscriptions like “15 per cent pen­sion increment in 2024”, “Higher salaries mean higher pensions”, “Stop the polarisation”, “Teachers need their Conditions of Service” among many others.

As part of the occasion, awards were presented to 45 people, with the special award presented to the IGP, Dr Akuffo Dampare, in rec­ognition of his excellent leadership of the Ghana Police Service and contribution to peace and stability in the country


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