The Youth Wing of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has dismissed the three-day protest organised by the pressure group Democracy Hub.
In a statement, the Youth Organiser of the NPP, Salam Mustapha said “I tried so hard in the 3 days of the protest to take home the most salient reason and demand for the protest, but nothing concrete. Except for the usual rhetoric of fixing the road, motorway, cost of living and other tangential, which borders on politics.”
Mustapha, however, condemned the actions of the police during the first day of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration on Thursday, September 21.
He emphasised the importance of the police in drawing lessons from past events to prevent such occurrences.
“I followed with keen interest a 3-day demonstration organised by a group known as Democracy Hub. I want to firstly condemn the action of the police force on the first day of the demonstration. I thought that the barbaric act that was meted on us in September 2015, where we were brutalised, served as a lesson for the police to learn from and never to repeat again but alas.
“For the records, the right to demonstrate is inalienable and guaranteed by the Constitution. Citizens have the right to protest, albeit peacefully to drum home their demand(s)”.
Responding to the group’s demand for better conditions for Ghanaians, Salam Mustapha who admitted that Ghanaians are going through economic difficulties assured the government’s efforts to fix the economy.
“In conclusion, the gallant youth of this country deserve better. We are in difficulties, no doubt about it. But I can state unequivocally that all young people around the world share similar stories as we do here, though with varying degrees, but sufficiently, there’s global stress on us all.
“I have absolute trust in this government and the efforts underway to get us out of the woods. Let’s not forget that Ghana was the fastest-growing economy in the world in 2018. This translated into jobs, and reduction in some benchmark values, and a stable cost of living. This government has a track record of ‘fixing’ and will continue to do so,” Salam Mustapha assured.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Accra from Thursday to Saturday for anti-government protests linked to economic hardship that has led to dozens of arrests.
Protesters, some waving placards or the Ghanaian flag, decried the high cost of living and a lack of jobs as they marched under the watch of riot police. The gold-, oil- and cocoa-producing nation has been battling its worst economic crisis in a generation brought on by spiraling public debt.
49 protesters were arrested in the process on the first day. A BBC journalist and his cameraman were also picked up, while Metro TV’s Bridget Otoo was also roughed up by the police on Thursday.
The group on Friday and Saturday continued its protest, with the police barricading them from marching to the Jubilee House.