Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pressure group to demonstrate against ‘harsh living conditions’

July 1, page 38 

A pressure group, Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance, has gathered momentum on social media to organise a march today against what it terms “harsh living conditions in Ghana”.
The march, tagged, “Occupy Flagstaff House” and “Occupy Ghana,” will see the demonstrators converging on the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park at 6 a.m.
The group had initially planned to congregate at the seat of government but the Police Administration prevailed on its leadership and reached an agreement with it to change the venue of the march.
However, three leaders of the group will later present a petition to selected government officials at the Flagstaff House.

Counter march

A counter march, tagged, “One thousand in support of Mahama”, had also been planned by another group to take place today, but the Police Administration managed to convince the leadership of that group to postpone it.
In separate interviews, the Convener of the protest march, Nana Akwasi Awuah, and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Freeman Tettey, confirmed the upcoming protest march.
“We have agreed that they converge on the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park. They can then select three leaders to present their petition at the Flagstaff House,” Mr Tettey said.
He said the police would provide protection for the demonstrators, adding that the leadership of the counter group had rescheduled the march in favour of President Mahama.


Explaining the rationale behind the demonstration, Nana Awuah said “All we are asking for is a responsible government. We have had enough promises and we expect the President to deliver on them.”
“Living conditions are getting worse each day. People are being laid off by companies faced with high operational costs. Ghanaians are faced with high tariffs, taxes and poor provision of utility services,” he said, adding that it was time for Ghanaians to rise up and urge the President to perform.
He said the demonstration was non-partisan, and, therefore, urged all to dress in black attire and/or in the national colours.
“This is a non-partisan protest march. We will not condone any act of hooliganism. Any protestor who misconducts himself or herself will be handed over to the police,” Nana Awuah cautioned.

Use of social media

The group has whipped up support from potential participants on social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and other social media sites have gone viral with the news of the protest march.
Lawyers, doctors, nurses, civil society groups and individuals have lent their support to the event.
Meanwhile, supporters of President Mahama are also putting up updates in their bid to trivialise today’s event.

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