Government representatives urged to be mindful of utterances in ‘hard times’
The Coalition for Democratic Accountability and Inclusive Governance, a pressure group has urged government representatives to be mindful of their utterance so as not to appear insensitive to the plight of citizens.
According to the group known as the Citizens’ Coalition, any form of communication on the economy that is devoid of emotional intelligence tended to send the wrong signal to citizens and frustrate citizens beginning to doubt the capability of the government.
“The lack of emotional intelligence in the utterances of government representatives added to the pain, frustration, and anger of citizens who felt that either government did not care or have a clue about resolving the crisis. The latter feeds a scary thought that the ship is sinking” said Mr Kojo Asante, a member of the group at a press briefing in Accra.
Prior to economic crisis, he said there was a feeling of hopelessness on the part of many unemployed youth who feel overwhelmed and numbed by the void and uncertainty of the future facing them.
“In fact, addressing youth unemployment and the basic needs for young people’s survival demands a deliberate and concerted effort more than what has been seen so far. This is an eminent threat to our national security” he said.
The group stated that the government’s response on the economic challenges has been woefully ineffective as it had attributed the precipitous worsening of the economy to the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
“The response was then to hang our entire short to medium solution to ongoing negotiations with the IMF. As the Cedi plunged into a free fall and basic food prices rose uncontrollably at the markets, the country and government waited with bated breath for drips of news to emerge from Washington,” Mr Asante said.
He said the government’s response to the crisis has given an affirmation to people that indeed the ship was about to sink and “it added to the despondency”.
Going forward, the group has urged government to convene a national stakeholder platform for a discussion and citizens buy-in into the medium-term development plan for the country.
It also urged the government to resist any attempt to introduce a ‘fait accompli’ proposal to people through Parliament by way of a national budget as that could suffer the fate of the electronic levy which did not have the buy-in of citizens.
“This crisis offers a rare opportunity to take bold and courageous steps that will not only restore some confidence and repair the strained relationship between citizens and government but help chart a pathway forward through the crisis” Mr Asante, who is the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD-Ghana said.
The Citizens’ Coalition is the coming together of persons from various CSO to promote accountability and good governance.