The Member of Parliament for the Effutu constituency and Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could hand a windfall victory to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) if NPP MPs fail to engage with their constituents and allay their frustrations.
According to him, research from civil society organisations has shown that Ghanaians have a lot of bottled-up frustration towards government as a result of the economy’s trajectory in recent times.
He said, this, if not managed appropriately could manifest in the elections.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he noted that the way to go is constant engagement with the constituents to explain the current circumstances and what government is doing, while also listening to the issues that affect them.
“We are in very challenging times. If you allow any vacuum the frustration will manifest in the elections and you’ll get booted out. I have always relied on research and I don’t doubt data. … So we’ve been working on some research findings and I have a fair idea how Ghanaians feel about this government.
“We have a lot of frustrations out there, and we can’t run away from that fact. The opposition would have a windfall if we lay back. We have to work, we have to explain. The little we can do, we must demonstrate to the people that we mean well.”
He noted that the double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war has left the economy spiraling such that the private sector is suffering a contraction, while the public sector is unable to absorb the excesses.
This he says is contributing to the unemployment situation.
“Look, covid struck, for almost two years the economy was at a standstill. Soon thereafter we had Russian-Ukraine war. When initially it started and we were talking about it, people downplayed it, but today the cement factories are in need of cement paper to bag, most of these are coming from Russia.
“Iron rods are coming from Ukraine, wheats are coming from Ukraine. The value chain is affected. The world economy is in crisis and Ghana is not insulated in anyway,” he said.
According to him, it is only normal that Ghanaians would blame the government for their frustrations, thus MPs should engage constantly to calm the simmering anger.
“The ordinary Ghanaian trader who goes to the market and his business or her business is affected must blame somebody, the person to blame is government. That is the reality. Because when people are frustrated, who is there to blame? Government, it’s not the opposition.
So, for those of us in that privileged status, that is the time for us to work extra hard. And to me it hasn’t been easy. Three days ago I was in Winneba, up to 2am we were meeting constituents in the villages, engaging them, explaining, talking to them, having 5am meetings,” he said.
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credit: Joy News