President Akufo-Addo (middle) with some workers who were honoured at the event. Picture: DOUGLAS ANANE-FRIMPONG
President Akufo-Addo (middle) with some workers who were honoured at the event. Picture: DOUGLAS ANANE-FRIMPONG

Political differences mustn’t breed disunity - President exhorts nation

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged Ghanaians not to allow their political affiliations and differences to lead them into disunity and instability but rather use them to provoke an intellectual debate on how to move the country forward.


He also advised that in spite of the differences in opinions on policies, Ghanaians, especially political actors, should always resort to established protocol to express their displeasure and grievances without disruption to peace and national security.

President Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the 2024 National May Day Parade at the Independence Square in Accra yesterday. The occasion, which happened to be the President’s May Day swansong, was on the theme: “Election 2024: The Role of Workers and Social Partners in Securing Peaceful Elections for National Development”.

In attendance were the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, leaders of the Ghana Employers Association, representatives of International Labour Organisation (ILO) and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

As usual, workers from across the country were fully represented through their respective companies and unions in their branded T-shirts, with placards, some of which read, “Domestic Workers are Pillars of the Economy”, “Exempt HIV/AIDS Commodities from Taxes and Levies”, “Save Energy Today for Brighter Tomorrow”, and “Our Disabilities Don’t Define Our Work.”

Role in peaceful elections

President Akufo-Addo stressed that “it is in our collective interest to promote peace, security and stability ahead of the 2024 general election. Ghana is the only country we have and we must do everything in our power to defend our nation and its constitution”

He described Ghanaian workers as the backbone of the country who have special roles to play in shaping the outcome of elections and that their participation in the electoral process was essential to ensure that the concerns and aspirations of working people were adequately represented in the governance structure.

President Akufo-Addo, therefore, charged them to exercise their civic duty responsibly and cast their vote for candidates who espoused policies that promote inclusivity, equality and social justice, adding that “as social partners, it is an important part of your role to defend and uphold the ideals of the Constitution”.

He noted that the theme for the occasion underscored the pivotal role every Ghanaian had to play in ensuring that the electoral process was free, fair, transparent, and devoid of violence.

He said the destiny of the nation hinged upon the collective actions of workers and social partners to safeguard the democratic principles and uphold the rule of law. “Ghana's track record as a bastion of democracy and peace is an enviable one that needs protection. Our democratic processes have stood the test of time, especially under the Fourth Republic.

We have undertaken so far eight successive elections, whose results have given rise to three peaceful transfers of power from one party to another since 1992,” he said.


President Akufo-Addo reminded the gathering that despite the high stakes in previous elections, the country had exhibited a great deal of political maturity in navigating the challenges that cropped up, with various governance and security institutions proving their worth through the demonstration of independence and resilience in demanding times.

He indicated that the nation’s capacity for securing peaceful elections ahead of the 2024 electioneering season was tested in 2023 through two successful by-elections in the Kumawu and Assin North constituencies, followed by the Ejisu by-election just last Tuesday.

He said those events had signalled the country’s preparedness for peaceful elections in 2024 and expressed the government’s confidence that the peace that characterised those by-elections would also manifest in the December polls. 


Touching on the role of the media, President Akufo-Addo announced that government, through the National Media Commission (NMC), and in collaboration with other bodies, was scaling up mechanisms to combat hate speech, dissemination of fake news, misinformation and disinformation campaigns ahead of the elections.

He said these practices had the tendency of inciting violence to mar the existing peace in the country. He gave an assurance that the government would not relent in securing the country’s peace as it intensified campaigns on the ‘See Something Say Something’ initiative, which was an all-inclusive campaign, and encouraged citizens to report suspicious activities to the security agencies. 


Regarding a commitment he made to organised labour last year, President Akufo-Addo announced payment of a lump sum of GH¢55.4 million by the Controller and Accountant General's Department for 2020 retirees under Act 766.

This is facilitating the payment of outstanding lump sum top-up benefits to 581 beneficiaries who retired fully under the Act 766, starting from 2020 and whose benefits were lower than what they would have received under PNDC Law 247.

Additionally, he said government had paid GH¢99.7 million for nine months, covering July 2023 to March 2024, out of the outstanding Tier Two contributions of GH¢993.9 million.

“We have agreed with organised labour on a payment plan to pay the balance in three equal tranches by August 2024, this year, through a combination decision of cash payments and government papers.


“I am also happy to bring to your notice that notwithstanding arrears of Tier One SSNIT contributions covering the period 2010 to 2021, government had cleared the outstanding principal amount of GH¢2.46 billion owed by government to the Trust through securitisation in April 2024,” he said.

He added that the considerable chunk of the arrears was contracted during the period of his predecessors, the Mills-Mahama-led governments, which they made no efforts to settle.

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