Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante, has cautioned the ruling New patriotic Party against ruffling the feathers of the middle class through the domestic debt exchange porgramme.
According to him, Ghana’s middle class are primarily the movers and shakers of the economy and elections, thus governments that antagonize them tend to face a lot of problems.
He explained that the middle class are well positioned to understand the big issues and articulate them clearly to the masses, thus an attack on them could culminate into a much larger pushback against the government.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on the political cost of the domestic debt exchange programme, Dr. Asah-Asante said the failure of government to dialogue and get the middle class on board will be their undoing in the 2024 elections.
Let’s cast our minds back to the 1970s, Acheampong era for that matter, you saw it was the middle class that really fought the government. You know, Association of Professional Groups, Ghana Bar Association and all that took the government on.
“So when you are in government and you have any policy that tend to ruffle the feathers of the middle class then you’re likely to be confronted head-on by this group of people who are able to articulate clearly what the issues are to the ordinary man.
“These are people that they have a lot of dependents and these are the people who are able to stand toe to toe and face government. And so when you have a problem with them then you’re likely to have a difficult task not only in managing them, but also in managing people who depend on them.
And remember that in politics one vote is so important like the hundreds of votes, because one vote can move somebody from a candidate to become a president, a candidate to become an MP. And so I thought the DDE wouldn’t take this path, but here we are,” he said.
He noted that the top-down approach that has particularly characterized the second term of the Akufo-Addo-led administration is the cause of all this anger.
According to him, without finding common ground in the ongoing negotiations, the debt exchange programme could end in an impasse.
This is borne out of one thing. If you look at all the policies of the government, especially the second tenure, the issue of dialogue has been missing in the equation. As if they’re running their own private business, I’m sorry to say that but I need to be blunt about it.
“It’s a public business so all the time you need a vis-à-vis approach, back and forth, you talk to people and you find common ground on some of the issues but that’s not what we’re seeing,” he said.