The Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), John Mensah Mawutor has urged the Akufo-Addo government to wake up to the reality that times are hard and heed to various calls to deal with the challenges citizens grapple with on daily basis.
This comes after thousands of Ghanaians began a social media campaign dubbed #FixTheCountry and #FixGhanaNow that seek to put pressure on the Akufo-Addo government to sit up and solve basic challenges such as lack of portable water in their homes, frequent power outages and the inability to state agencies to work effectively across the country.
Mawutor who was reacting to the controversial campaign on Morning Update on TV XYZ said, “the issues [raised by theprotesters] have to deal with the recent difficulties associated with some policies that were churned out by the government; levies on consumption as well as erratic power outages which have bedevilled society.”
“Consumption has increased when income is still fixed, so naturally you will expect people to speak up,” Mr Mawutor noted as he agreed that there were problems to be fixed.
Mr Mawutor indicated that he had followed the debate on #FixTheCountry social media campaign, adding that “the tweets seem to have ressonated with a lot of people.”
He said the campaign is associated with the difficulties of the country and that he is not surprised the youth are piling pressure on the government to reduce fuel prices and make life a bit comfortable for the people.
“I am not surprised that the youth are asking; we are asking for fixing the the economy,” he said “The government is the institution given the mandate to govern and for that matter must fix everything that is wrong with this country.”
The group, that began a strong social media campaign – #FixTheCountry on twitter and Facebook last week due to what they describe as untold hardship in the country wanted to hit the streets yesterday but was stopped by police.
They had written to the police for protection for their demonstration slated for Sunday, May 9, 2021, but the police said it could not shepherd them and subsequently headed to court for an injunction saying that was to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
On Thursday evening, the Greater Accra Police Command announced that it had secured a restraining order from an Accra High Court to stop a planned protest dubbed #FixTheCountry.
The restraining order follows an affidavit filed by the police against the conveners of the demonstration pursuant to Section 1 (6) of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 491).
But Mr Mawuotor believes whether they protest or not the government must act to the satisfaction of the police.
However, a private legal practitioner Alexander Twum-Barimah who was a panel member on the programme chastised the government for the uproar on social media.
He blamed the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration for failing to fulfill the many promises they made to Ghanaians in the run to the 2016 elections, stressing that gave birth to the #FixTheCountry protest.
He said the issue of unemployment and the insensitive nature of government that has brought forth new taxes and fuel increment yet failed to create sustainable Jobs increased the agitation.
“Unsustainability of Jobs like the NABCO will not cushion the ordinary Ghanaian to have better living condition in this ailing economy,” he told host Eric Ahianyo. “Give the people permanent jobs.”
Twum-Barima pointed that, the teeming graduates are idle across the country who need permanent jobs, fuel increment, poor road networks, hijacking state resources are the hallmark of the government.
He questioned why the government and the legislature will increase their ex- gratia but the same government would find it cumbersome to accumulate money for creation of more jobs for the teeming youth.
He said the government’s fat promise of year of roads and rehabilitation of roads across the 16 regions of the country has still not seen the light of the day.