Your Government Is Not Working: Demonstrators Tell President Mahama

Hundreds of Ghanaian workers on Tuesday defied a heavy morning downpour to converge in Accra to protest what they say has been poor governance so far by the Mahama-led administration.

They want the government to take the governed more seriously, manage revenues more prudently and deliver policies and programmes that will cushion the people against the escalating hardships as well as guarantee a hopeful future.

The demonstrators, who said they were tired with Ghanaian politicians and their self-centeredness, vowed to continue their peaceful demonstrations until the government began to act responsibly and implemented measures that will bring the needed relief to the generality of the people and lessen their economic burdens.

‘I am here because I am tired. I am a Ghanaian too. I own a piece of this country just like our President John Mahama owns a piece of this country. By virtue of the fact that I own a piece of this country I have certain rights and expectations. If I select somebody to manage this country for me, I selected him on my own free will. Maybe I didn’t vote for him, maybe I did. That’s not the point. But it behoves on this person or this group of people to act responsibly. Do you understand what I am saying,’ said one of the demonstrators who identified himself only as Tony.

‘I am here because I am tired. I am tired of people playing games with this country. I am tired of people deciding they own a piece of this country more than I do,’ he insisted, explaining that ‘the catalyst’ for the demonstration, his first in many years, ‘is the fiasco around the World Cup. If you add that to petrol and fuel shortages it is ridiculous. I pay taxes and let me be clear, not everybody in this country pays taxes… I pay taxes and my taxes need to be used for something that is worthwhile. It’s not supposed to be used to enrich people.’

Tony who described himself as a business executive, said he was not on the streets for his personal benefit alone, but for future generations of this ‘beautiful country.’

‘If my taxes must enrich anybody at all, it should be the people behind me, not public servants.’

‘Public service is a service, it’s not a job, it’s a service. That is not where you go to make your money, that is not where you do your first job. We have ministers whose first job is public service, so what have they got to contribute, for how many years before we get anywhere in our businesses?’

Another demonstrator, Kwao, who also said he was taking part in the protest because he is also tired of the maladministration going on, said ‘you will be surprised to find that probably 75 percent of the people at this demonstration today are not your riff raffs. They are professionals, they are working people, they are people of respect. I am surprised to find there are people like me who are 45 and above and they have come on their own free will, and it is to show his excellency that his government is not working. We are expecting him to make his government work by getting people who are competent to get the job done.’

‘We have a sports minister and people embarrassing the entire nation by flying 3.5 million dollars on a plane when right next door there are people shitting in gutters. where are our priorities? That’s why I am here.’

Yet another demonstrator, Emmanuel, said too many issues were going wrong in the country that needed immediate fixes.

‘There are so many issues that if I want to list them, then we are not going, but the fact of the matter is that, it is we the middle class. You see, the government will always have their way, they enjoy riding on the ignorance of the ordinary Ghanaian because they want to give GH¢10 and they will vote for them.

‘It is time for Ghanaians, the ordinary Ghanaians, the discerning ones to come out and tell the government that look this is not about partisan political parties or whatever. We have to put our parochial interests aside and fight the government as a collective body because things are getting out of hand in this country.

The demonstration was dubbed ‘Occupy Flagstaff House,’ and organisers said they have given themselves one week to begin to see the new change they crave for, or they would return to the streets to make sure the president and his assigns were listening to the voice of the people.

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