|The unemployed Graduates Association (UGA) has warned Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, to desist from making derogatory statements against the association or face their wrath.
Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah, at a graduation ceremony last Friday for beneficiaries of the Local Enterprise and Skills Development (LESDEP) at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, described UGA as evil and tagged its members as lazy people who had been paid to destroy themselves.
Reacting to the deputy minister’s statement, the President of UGA, Justice Kojo Antwi, told Daily Guide that the Association was neither devilish, nor its members lazy, adding that they had also not been paid to destroy themselves.
He therefore called on Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah to apologize and also desist from insulting them, especially when his ministry had not been able to provide jobs for the unemployed graduates in the country.
Mr. Kojo Antwi said: “If he continues to make such offensive comments about the Association, then we will mobilize all unemployed graduates in the country to stage a demonstration against him and the ministry and call for his removal”.
He said the minister’s comment did not only affect members of the Association but all unemployed graduates in the country. “I think the statement he made is very shameful and he must be circumspect in his comments”, he added.
Mr. Kojo Antwi said: “What the minister must do is to call the Association and meet to brainstorm and find the way forward in addressing the situation but not to jump from one platform to the other, making derogatory comments that will incite people”.
He said the Association was formed due to the fact that the rate of unemployed graduates in the country was very alarming and they didn’t want politicians to exploit them for their own self gain.
Mr. Kojo said the LESDEP programmes targeted the unemployed youth in the country including graduates. However he said the modules under LESDEP did not address graduate unemployment in the country.
He urged the government to sit down with the Association and discuss how the unemployed graduates in the country could get jobs.