General News of Tue, 14 Feb 2006372
Thousands hit the streets against ROPAB
Accra, Feb 14, GNA - Thousands of Ghanaians on Tuesday poured onto the streets in Accra to either take a glimpse at or participate in a demonstration against the passage of the Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB).
The peaceful protest march was to back their request for the withdrawal of the Bill, currently before Parliament.
The more than six hours' march was organized by Concerned Ghanaians, a pressure group, with support from the Minority parties including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Eagle Party, the National Reform Party (NRP), the Great Consolidated People's Party and some civil society groups.High profile political figures including Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential Candidate for the NDC in Election 2004; Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader in Parliament; Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, an Executive Member of NDC and other NDC stalwarts like Ms Ama Benyiwa Doe; Alhaji Huudu Yahaya; Dr Tony Aidoo, Mr Ofosu Ampofo; and Mr Charles Kofi Wayo a leading Member of the People's National Convention (PNC) took part in the street demonstration against the Bill, which they described as despotic and a recipe for chaos, which had stirred both Parliamentary and national controversy. Other personalities who took part in the march included Mr Danny Ofori Atta, Chairman of the Eagle Party, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Former Minister of Defence and Ms Emelia Arthur, Deputy General Secretary of the NRP. The placard bearing protestors, dressed in Valentine Day red clothes and wearing head and hand bands started their protest march from the Holy Gardens at the kwame Nkrumah Circle. They sang, drummed and danced amidst heavy Police security protection and went through the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, to the Farisco Traffic Lights and turned left toward TUC Building, National Theatre, the Ministries and ended in front of the Osu Military Cemetery, with intermittent periods of resting, with some lying on the tarred road, at major traffic lights along the route. People came out of their offices, and school children craned their necks out of classrooms to look at the marchers, who had placards, some of which read:
- "Pass the Disability Bill
- Not ROPAB"; "ROPAB is Robbery"
- "Say No to ROPAB
- Lie Lie Government"
- Come Down and Vote in Ghana"
- "ROPAB is Not Our Priority Now."