Law Professor, H. Kwasi Prempeh, has said the youth defending the comments by Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi-Boateng, to the effect that New Patriotic Party (NPP) members are more Ghanaian than others, thus, he would make them his topmost priority before any other Ghanaians, are digging their own graves.
Mr Ayisi-Boateng has suffered a lot of flak from a section of Ghanaians for making that comments. However, members of the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON) student wing of the NPP, have mounted a spirited defence for him.
For instance, a statement released by Coordinator, Greater Accra TESCON Alumni, Kofi Asiedu, and also former TESCON President, Pentecost University, on Tuesday, October 31 said: “Greater Accra TESCON ALUMNI is calling on Ghanaians to overlook the negative colourisation been made by the NDC to dilute the comments of H.E George Ayisi Boateng, Ghana's Ambassador to South Africa, as discriminatory. The comments, which were made at the Kumasi Technical University TESCON programme, was to ignite hope among the TESCON fraternity in order for the students to comprehend what the government is doing in the area of job creation.
“The hypocritical comments being made by some NDC officials is unfortunate and should be disregarded. During their eight years tenure, when did you see the government advertise for employment?”
Similarly, the Ashanti Regional branch of TESCON has also thrown its weight behind Mr Ayisi-Boateng.
“We wish to state emphatically that we are very proud of you, H.E. Ayisi-Boateng, the High Commissioner to South Africa,” a statement signed by George Krobea Asante, former TESCON President, GIMPA, Kumasi said.
But in Facebook post on Tuesday October 31, Prof Prempeh said: “I find it curious that the youth who have a bigger stake in the future of this country by virtue of their age and stage in life are the ones who are most vociferously defending this line of thinking. It is your own graves you're digging with this sort of facile ideology.
“No government, no matter how profligate or reckless in its fiscal management, can build a public sector large enough to create a job for every party faithful. Nor can the economy withstand such reckless politics. Politicians who make a contrary promise are simply being dishonest. And you must be smart enough to know that.”
If the NPP had told Ghanaians openly during the 2016 election campaign that, if elected, the Party will prioritize and cater for the employment and material needs of Party faithful above all other Ghanaians, would it have won the 2016 elections? Such a statement would have spelt electoral doom for the party.
Thankfully and wisely, the NPP and then-Candidate Akufo Addo/Bawumia did not campaign on any such promise. They know better! They campaigned instead, and appropriately so, on a promise of Creating Jobs and Prosperity for All. That is the contract the NPP made with Ghanaians.
And it is on the basis of that contract that one must judge the wisdom or unwisdom of the controversial statement made by Ambassador Ayisi Boateng. Saying that he's merely stating a political fact misses the point. He was doing far more than that. If I told you that, people get into politics to enrich themselves, so I intend to use whatever position I secure in politics to enrich myself, would my declaration be excusable or justifiable because I was merely stating a sad fact of Ghanaian political life? What sort of logic is that?
I find it curious that the youth who have a bigger stake in the future of this country by virtue of their age and stage in life are the ones who are most vociferously defending this line of thinking. It is your own graves you're digging with this sort of facile ideology. No government, no matter how profligate or reckless in its fiscal management, can build a public sector large enough to create a job for every party faithful. Nor can the economy withstand such reckless politics. Politicians who make a contrary promise are simply being dishonest. And you must be smart enough to know that.
The solution to the tough problem of youth and graduate unemployment does not lie in finding a job in the public services for every TESCON or DELTA FORCE member. It's just not feasible; it won't happen. (Besides, not every party faithful belongs or must belong to TESCON or any of the various clubs within the party). What we can and must do, however, is hold government to its promise and duty to create, through smart policies, programs, investments, incentives, and disciplined and judicious management of this nation's wealth, an expanding economy and private sector that, in turn, creates job, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth and new graduates. This is the only sustainable path. It is the most the politicians can do, if they would be honest with you. But unless we hold them to that promise and measure progress toward that goal, they will take the line of least resistance, which is to find plum and not-so-plum public sector jobs for just a few of you and string the rest along until another election is due. Let's be realistic--and discerning.