The issues of political vigilantism and kidnapping of children in the country are dominating the expectations many public servants have of the President’s State of the Nations Address (SONA) on Thursday.
These two nagging concerns, they said, needed to be well highlighted in the SONA by the President who must spell out the concrete steps being taken to nip them in the bud before they could degenerate and compromise the security in the country.
When the Daily Graphic spoke to a number of civil servants at the various ministries in Accra yesterday to find out their expectations of the SONA, they said they expected the President to place a lot of emphasis on the issue of security, particularly political vigilantism and the measures to implement to have them disbanded immediately.
This year’s SONA will be the third by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo since he assumed office on January 7, 2017.
The delivery of the address is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, which states that “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.”
Disband vigilante groups
A civil servant, Mr Fred Mensah, said: “Political vigilante groups are becoming a big problem in this country. If events that took place at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election are not nipped in the bud, other political parties will want to beef up their own vigilante groups and this will have unbearable repercussions on the country,” he said.
Mr Mensah was hopeful that the President would hammer on concrete steps to create sustainable jobs in the country since “joblessness is becoming a national security issue”.
“As many youth remain unemployed today, they will find alternative means of surviving and those alternative means may not be desirable,” he said.
Stabilise the cedi
A Procurement Officer at the Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Daniel Kusi, was of the opinion that political vigilantism and child kidnapping had become two major challenges that the government must task the security agencies to tackle head-on.
“We cannot allow foreigners to come to Ghana to kidnap our children for rituals or for slavery. As parents you cannot sleep while your child is somewhere. Even when you go to work you cannot have the concentration to work,” he said.
Expressing worry over the depreciation of the cedi against foreign currencies, particularly the dollar, Mr Kusi said he expected the President to outline measures to be taken to stabilise the cedi to save businesses.
Fulfil campaign promises
Mr Osman Saeed, another public servant, also bemoaned the alarming rate at which political vigilantism was rearing its ugly head in the political space and called for its disbandment.
“If the government does not stop vigilante groups by 2020, such violent groups will resurface and bring a very big problem to the country,” he said.
Mr Osman, who expected the President to tell Ghanaians what he would do to implement the many promises he made to the people such as the One-district, One-dam, also appealed to the President to highlight the efforts the government was making to completely end “dumsor” for good.
Provide the security with logistics
A civil servant, Mr Stephen Kofi Nartey, indicated that as the nation was gearing up for the SONA tomorrow, President Akufo-Addo must tell Ghanaians the actions the government was making to provide more logistics to the police to enhance their visibility in the country.
“It is only when we have police visibility that personnel can rapidly respond to any security alert such as armed robbery and violent attacks in our communities.”
On financial industry, he said while the objective for restructuring the financial sector was a good one, the approach by the Bank of Ghana was not the best.
“If the central bank wants to clean up the banks to strengthen the financial sector, the government must get all stakeholders involved and draw up a policy that will be implemented to clean up the sector instead of pushing its policy down the throat of the people,” he said.