Oct. 29 (GIN) – A ex-military officer’s off-hand remark that striking workers strapped by rising electric and water bills should pack their bags and leave the country has stirred up a hornet’s nest among the Ghanaian diaspora.

Retired Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah was rebuked for telling Ghanaians to take a hike if they could not sacrifice in difficult times.

“Go to work, or get out,” was the General’s statement carried by the state-owned Ghanaian Times.

This prompted the Association of Concerned Ghanaians in Europe (ACGIE) to shoot off a response: “We find Gen. Nunno-Mensah’s ‘deportation orders’ rather strange, absurd and infantile to say the least.

ACGIE finds such unguided statements appalling and unacceptable.”

The letter went on: “Clearly, if anybody has cause to be angry, it should be the Ghanaian worker whose life has been made miserable as a result of the hikes in utility prices, increased petroleum prices, a crumbling health system, deteriorating infrastructure coupled with massive corruption, ineptitude and mismanagement.”

“It was not well thought of, it was quite irritating,” said union leader Kofi Asamoah of the General’s remark.

Rate increases in effect this month include a 78.9% hike in electricity and a 52% hike in water tariffs. Petrol prices are down 4 percent, diesel by 2 percent but kerosene is up 24 percent. w/pix of labor leader Kofi Asamoah