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The Minority in Parliament has condemned the alleged harassment and intimidation of some members of the Graduate Unemployed Nurses and Midwives Association by the Police on Monday during their picketing at the premises of the Health Ministry.
Members of the Graduate Unemployed Nurses and Midwives Association on Monday, 21 October 2019 picketed at the Ministry of Health (MoH) to demand their immediate employment.
The group said the action was taken because they haven’t had any positive response from the ministry regarding financial clearance for their employment.
About six of the unemployed nurses, including a person living with disability, who took part in the picketing on Monday were arrested and are reportedly being processed for court.
Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, who condemned the incident described the situation as an attempt by the government to use the Ghana Police Service to institute the culture of silence in Ghanaians and prevent them from exercising their democratic rights.
“…The current trend of the attempt by Government to use the Ghana Police Service to institute the culture of silence by brutalising people who are exercising their democratic rights is highly unacceptable and alarming/”
He urged President Akufo-Addo to fulfil the promises he made to nurses prior to the 2016 general elections by employing them immediately.
“It is instructive to know that this particular group of Nurses were not paid their nursing training allowances as promised by the President Nana Akufo-Addo while they were in school. The President and his Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at separate meetings with the nurses, urged them to forfeit their Nursing training allowances in lieu of immediate employment”.
Akandoh also urged government to as a matter of urgency complete abandoned uncompleted health facilities and fully operationalize completed ones in order to absorb the unemployed nurses.
“We will therefore at this point call on the President to expedite action on the uncompleted and abandoned health facilities littered across the country and also make the already completed ones fully operational. This will result in the creation of more vacancies to be able to absorb the unemployed nurses”.
The leader and other members of the Graduate Unemployed Nurses and Midwives Association who were present at the press briefing called on the president to “have mercy on them as his children and as citizens of the country and step in to stop their prosecution”.