Angry jobless nurses join Mahama at Unity Walk

Some angry-looking young men who say they are unemployed nurses emerged with a protest banner Saturday at the Unity Walk of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), saying they had come to former President John Dramani Mahama to save their future from doom under the current government.

The banner boldly reads: “You employed bonded nurses but Nana wants to make us zoom nurses” and “You were honest to us but Nana deceived us and failed to pay us our allowance”.

Dressed in nursing uniforms and showing newsmen their nursing identity cards to prove they were not masqueraders, they held the banner as they walked alongside hundreds of NDC supporters through the streets and highways of the regional capital, Bolgatanga.

“We were the nurses who completed in 2016, registered nurses, diploma of course. We finished our national service in 2017. In March 2018, we were due for posting, only to be told by the government that we would not be employed but we would be put under the Youth Employment Agency,” fumed one of the unemployed nurses, Osman Alale.

Asked why they decided to put in an appearance at the NDC Unity Walk, he said with a tone of frustration: “We are here because Mahama was realistic to us by telling us that he would not be able to pay allowances, that he would not be able to post non-bonded nurses. But in our case, we were bonded, and we thought that the President could have continued the process.

Since school resumed, no student has received an allowance. Even what they are even paying is no allowance. You can do your checks.”

Similar complaints came up from some student nurses who, as they moved with a milling crowd of NDC supporters singing ‘2020 we go show Nana o’ among other songs, spoke to journalists.

“Government is not able to pay us our 2018 allowance. I can say the government is owing 48 months allowance. We saw it necessary to join this Unity Walk to draw attention to our suffering,” Emmanuel Dawani protested.

Nurses tell me they’ve not been paid — Mahama

Addressing party supporters at the Ramsey Stadium in the regional capital after the street walk, Mahama attested to the grievances lodged by the trainee nurses.

“When you talk, they say, ‘We are fulfilling our promises; we’ve promised to restore nursing training allowances’. The nurses tell me that since that first payment they got in September, last year, they’ve not been paid again. But you know the tragedy is that they said [there was money]. So, you would expect there was some money they knew that they were going to use to fulfill those promises.

“What is happening is that all those promises are being fulfilled using the statutory funds. Whilst you think you are creating jobs on one side, you are starving the districts of their development budgets. And, so, the schools and clinics that they are supposed to build and provide jobs for masons and carpenters and steel benders and others, they (the assemblies) don’t have that money to provide the jobs,” said the former President.

Our defeat exposed NPP’s incompetence— Dominic Ayine

Several former government appointees and serving lawmakers took part in the Unity Walk, themed: “Mobilisation of the Grassroots; a Shared Responsibility”.

Speaking to the crowd on behalf of the Members of Parliament (MPs) present, the legislator for Bolgatanga East and former Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Dominic Ayine, reaffirmed a conclusion Mahama had drawn after the NDC lost power to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016.

“As I stand here before you, Bolga East has not received one dollar. We have not received one dollar. They said they were going to build one factory in a district. I thought the Zuarungu Meat Factory would be reopened for us to create jobs for the teeming youths. They have not done so. So, it is God that allowed us to see the lies, the incompetence and the lack of integrity of this current government.

“God gave you the opportunity to see how incompetent they are. The most competent person who has ever governed this country— if you take Nkrumah out, you take Jerry Rawlings out, you take out John Evans Atta Mills— the next person is John Dramani Mahama. He is [matchless]. In terms of performance within four years, just look around you. Today, everything has come to a standstill because of the mistake Ghanaians made, voting for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” said the former Attorney General.

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