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ATU Lecturer blasts Police for refusing #FixTheCountry protesters permit

A Senior Lecturer at the Accounts and Finance Department of the Accra Technical University (ATU),  Dr Ibrahim Zubeiru has condemned the Ghana Police Service for refusing to grand a youth group permit to protest over the  failure on the part of the Akufo-Addo-led Government to improve on the living conditions of Ghanaians.

The group, that began a strong social media campaign – #FixTheCountry on twitter and Facebook over the weekend, had written to the police for protection for theid demonstration slated for Sunday, May 9, 2021 but the police said it could not shepherd them.

A letter signed by 20 individuals of the group explained that the date was selected to capture the restless spirit of the over 126 Ghanaians who lost their lives some 20 years ago at the Accra Sports Stadium due to the “institutionalized incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives.”

But the Greater Accra Police PRO, DSP Effia Tenge,  indicated that the police wil not be able to grant the organisers of the protest their wish because the gathering goes against the ban on public gatherings currently in place as part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Mr James Oppong Buonuh is Inspector-General of Police (IGP)

DSP Tenge who spoke on Joy FM’s Top Story stated, “the police will not be able to provide the necessary security looking at the spread of Covid-19 and the kind of dangers that it poses to members of the public should they attend this demonstration.”

Despite the detailed plan enumerated by the protestors in line with Covid-19 protocols, the police say “there is no way that we can be able to guarantee for a fact that such a large demonstrating public” will adhere to such a plan.

Hypocrisy

But reacting to the development in an interview with TV XYZ News’ Wisdom Hededzome,  the Senior lecturer who has been following the trend of events expressed surprise at the posture of the Police and warned that any attempt to hide behind COVID-19 to suppress the people could be disasterous.

Dr Zubeiru who bemoaned what he described as hypocrisy on the part of the Police and quizzed, “the same police service allowed Occupy Ghana [to demonstrate] during Mahama’s time and same police is stopping #FixTheCountry demo? What kind of hypocrisy is this?”

He said the excuse from the Police that their action is as a result of ensuring compliance to the COVID-19 protocols cannot be true.

“Are people not going to churches? Are they not doing crusades?  Are we not teaching students in the universities?” he quizzed.  “They shouldn’t hide under COVID -19. God will punish anybody who hide under COVID-19 to tell lies for their hidden agenda.”

He went opn to state the youth may have been fed up because all influencial bodies who must put government to check are sleeping therefore they have to take the mantle and put the government to its toes.

Dr Zubeiru observed the arrogance exhibited during the Akufo-Addo’s first term has hit a wall and its either the President admits there is crisis and calls for national dialogue on the economy or prepare to face more pressure from the youth.

Growing Anger

The reactions of some Government officials and communicators have caused an uproar on social media, making the campaign gain grounds.

The social media protest has so far been joined by over 55,000 people and pressure keeps piling up on the government to admit that it has failed Ghanaians.

Yesterday media portals reported that there were over 240,000 tweets within the first day of the protest. As of yesterday, more than 550,000 tweets had been recorded since Sunday.

2020 presidential candidate for the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet, who commented on the development was blunt, blaming Ghanaians for the hardship they are battling after the 2020 polls.

“I’m surprised [that] after just a short period of time, they [Ghanaians] are complaining. They voted for them [the NPP] and they voted to put them back in office”, he charged and admonished Ghanaians to bear the consequences of their electoral choice.

What Is Causing The Anger?

Most of the issues raised bother on the worsening economic condition in the country, growing impunity, corruption, abandoned roads, challenges facing the health and the education sectors.

In the run up to the 2016 general elections, the NPP’s manifesto captured their vision for Ghanaians as “Our overall vision for Ghana is the development of an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation, through the creative
exploitation of our human and natural resources, operating within a democratic, open and fair society in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all.”

But the Ghanaians, both home and abroad, who have joined the social media protest have said the Akufo-Addo Government has not lived up to expectation, taking into consideration the series of sweet promises the NPP gave Ghanaians prior to the elections that first brought him and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to Government in January 2017.

They say the illegal small scale mining combat that the Akufo-Addo spent millions of cedis on has yielded no results and river bodies are becoming more murkier than they met it and thereby hindering the treatment of water by the Ghana Water Company Limited for consumption in the Central, Western, and Eastern Regions.

The anger keeps escalating among Ghanaians as most homes in  the national capital, Accra, struggle to get clean water for domestic purposes yet pay high prices for the little that flows in their taps seldomly.

Adding to that is the erratic power supply that has persisted since the beginning of the year. Although the Government has attributed the frequent power cuts to ongoing maintenace works, affected citizens find it difficult to believe officials who, in opposition, heavily chastised the John Mahama administration for lacking wisdom to tackle the power challenges.

The NPP in 2016 manifesto said tey were committed to the “development of interconnected
Roads, Railways, Ports & Harbours (RRHPs) Systems.”

Yet Accra dwellers who have had to grapple excessive traffic jam on daily basis due to the growing population and the  lack of access roads within the metropolis have asked the government to deliver on its promise of expanding railways and providing sky trains.

In 2016, the NPP manifesto indicated that Ghanaians were in hardship because  “John Mahama has been
a bad steward of the economy and our finances.” According the NPP’s research, ” Seven out of every ten Ghanaians say John Mahama has failed on the economy, and is leading the country in the wrong direction.”

But #FixTheCountry demonstrators have lamented the high cost of living and the lack of employment of opportunities for young graduates despite the establishment of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) by the government in 2017.

Most of the youth who have joined the campaign say they cannot feel the employment opportunities around them.

 

By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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