The Deputy General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has defended President John Mahama for adamantly refusing to yield to demands of public sector workers especially Ghana Medical Association.
Doctors in the public sector are currently on a partial strike to demand the provision of a formal document stating their conditions of service while stressing that they will only return to work when their issues are addressed. Commenting on the matter, President Mahama while speaking at the 80th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association, said he will not succumb to pressure from labour and that he will not spend outside the budget. “I will not authorize any expenditure on wages and compensation not provided for in the budget. Fiscal discipline requires that not a single pesewa is spent on remuneration outside what has been budgeted for,” he added.
His comments have been criticized by a section of Ghanaians including the organized labour. But Koku Anyido has said the president’s comment was “exciting.” Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday Koku Anyidoho insisted that President Mahama did no wrong by reiterating that he will not approve any spending outside the budget despite labour agitations. “The President’s position on this doctor’s thing is exciting.
Don’t forget that last year, even before we walked into this doctors issue, the president made it categorically clear, that as we inched towards the 2016 election, he wasn’t going to barge, in terms of salary demands for labour and throw his economic plan out of gear.
So what he said yesterday was just reiterating that point,” Anyidoho opined. He intimated that “in all fairness” it is not the government’s objective “to have the issue get to this point where it is now in the public domain and as if we are throwing punches at each other.” He said “for how long will the president pretend that he is not aware of the banter in the media? It is not to say that the doctors do not have a genuine concern, it is not to say that they will not get anything out of the negotiation. All he [Mahama] was saying is that whatever it is that we negotiate must be done within acceptable limit so that I don’t destroy what I have already built.”
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