1 July 2014

Ghana: Marchers Petition President Over 'Worsening Conditions'

Photo: Kwabena/Twitter
Ghanaians have taken to the streets - marching to petition President John Mahama about what they say are worsening economic conditions in the country.

Monrovia — Hundreds of Ghanaians are staging an "unprecedented" demonstration in front of the presidential palace to protest against what they say is the country's worsening economic conditions, according to Joy Online, a Ghanaian broadcaster.

Under the banner of the Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance, the campaign has been dubbed "#OccupyFlagstaffHouse", a reference to the office of the presidency.

"Ghanaians deserve to be happy and are tired of talking about hardship on social media," the protesters are quoted as saying.

According to the African Development Bank, Ghana's economic growth "decelerated" in 2013 - considerably lower than the achievements of the preceding years. The budget deficit has apparently fuelled public discourse and some dissatisfaction with the administration of President John Dramani Mahama.

The protesters had earlier been denied permission to protest on July 1, the day Ghana celebrates its Republic Day, before the authorities rescinded their decision.

Amongst other things stated in the group's petition are "the erratic supply of electricity nationwide; the unreliable supply of potable water across the country; the ever-depreciating value of the cedi; constant increases in taxes; inefficient revenue collection; very poor road networks; constant increments in utility tariffs".

"These observations turn out to be concerns shared by a predominant number of Ghanaians... we humbly entreat you to deal swiftly with the above concerns to alleviate the hardship our good people are currently faced with," the petition states.

Here are some tweets from Ghanaian protesters:

Paul Azumah-Ayitey ‏@kojoayitey

#OccupyFlagStaff: This movement must go on if we are to achieve results. Next shd be a media blackout campaign. The world must know.

Mac-Jordan ‏@MacJordaN

#OccupyFlagstaff already making impact. Gov't backtracks on major decisions, suspends 20% fuel increment & 17.5% VAT on 32 finan. services.

NICK OPUNI OPOKU ‏@nickopuni

Please don't sit at home if you're in Accra. Join us #OccupyGhana #OccupyFlagStaff #OccupyEveryWhere... http://fb.me/1aSLTQHEw

Mac-Jordan ‏@MacJordaN

Lack of Leadership! Corruption! Greed! Dishonesty! Indiscipline! Tax-payers suffering. These are just the reason for #OccupyFlagStaff

Gloria B Yankson ™ ‏@GloriaBuckman

As Ghanaians #OccupyFlagStaff, may we find it equally crucial, to occupy our offices, and rid ourselves of corporate bribery & corruption.

ivan ‏@ivandakenzy

Ghana is a mess. Fuel shortage pales in comparison to the hardship the masses r facing. #OccupyFlagStaff

Diplomatic Dinko ‏@ralphdinko

@BBCAfrica @AJStream hundreds of armoured cars protect President as citizens protest in #Ghana #occupyflagstaff #occupyghana #oureconomy RT

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