The Local Government Workers Union (LGWU) says Ghanaians who engage in unprovoked attacks on public servants at the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies should desist from such acts otherwise it will undermine the national effort at encouraging qualified professionals to accept postings to deprived communities.
“There is a worrying trend these days where public servants at the MMDAs have become victims and suffer brutalities at the hands of factions to ethnic, chieftaincy and land disputes in some conflict-prone communities across the country.
Another development gaining currency in recent times is how political activists, in their attempt to register their displeasure about some political appointees at the MMDAs, decide to attack and vandalise properties of the assemblies which sometimes leads to loss of lives,” it said.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by the acting General Secretary of LGWU, Mr Godfred Nyarko Okyere, said the union wanted to state that local government structures were critical for accelerated development, especially in deprived communities.
It said if the issues of perennial and sporadic conflicts which sometimes resulted in attacks on public servants were not addressed, they would continue to discourage well-meaning Ghanaians from accepting postings to serve in deprived communities.
“At a time that government is putting motivation packages for public servants to serve in deprived areas of the country, sporadic outbreak of violence leading to attacks on public servants is not healthy for national progress.
“It is in this regard that the LGWU condemns` in no uncertain terms the unprovoked attacks on MMDA staff with the recent one on the Chereponi District Coordinating Director and some officials of the assembly in the North East Region,” it said.
The incident, it said, occurred when the Coordinating Director, Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini, was shot by some persons believed to belong to one ethnic group in the area and his vehicle set ablaze when he and the other officials were returning to Chereponi after attending a workshop in Tamale.
The statement said the coordinating director and his team had to seek refuge in a security patrol team car that was conveying a corpse to Tamale, “else only God knows what would have happened to them”.
“The LGWU would like to remind Ghanaians that the MMDAs are the primary focus for accelerating development at the grass roots so incidents such as increasing attacks on staff of the assemblies will be a major disincentive for others to be willing to work there.
When conflict erupts, it is difficult to ask people to stay and work there and development of the areas suffer.
Currently, because of the conflict at Chereponi and the attack on the coordinating director, the assembly has since been closed down by the staff for fear of their lives,” it said.
The union’s statement said such a heinous act was unacceptable and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians, adding that “the union in the meantime is calling on the staff of the Chereponi District Assembly to remain calm while the officers of the security agencies bring the situation under control”.
“The union is happy that Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini is responding to treatment and wishes to express gratitude to the medical staff at both the Chereponi District Hospital and the Tamale Teaching Hospital for giving him medical attention.
The LGWU will also wish to caution the staff of the various MMDAs to approach their duties without political colourisation or aligning themselves to factions to any land, chieftaincy and ethnic disputes in the communities, so that they do not become targets when such disputes degenerate into conflict,” it said.
The LGWU, therefore, advised all sides in any chieftaincy, ethnic and land disputes to resort to dialogue to address their differences to create a bright future for the children and the country.
Source: Daily Graphic
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