Tamale ready for ‘Times are hard’ demo monday
The Northern Regional capital, Tamale, will on Monday, 22 August, host a historic demonstration against President John Mahama and his administration over, what the protestors see, as the increasing poverty and deprivation of the North under his leadership.
The demonstration has drawn a lot of interest in the Region and nationally for two main reasons.
First, is the fact that it is organised by all the main opposition political parties in the North.
Second, is that the people of the North are very upset and disappointed in President John Mahama. They are particularly peeved because they feel that he played on his northern heritage to win their votes and not only ignored them after, but has actually made them poorer, with high electricity tariffs, high total cost of living and growing joblessness.
Mohammed Abdul Kudu, the spokesperson for the organisers, said, "The people of the North feel used, abused and misused by the President and his strong army of MPs and Ministers from here."
He continued, "The leaders of all the opposition parties here, conscious of the depressing sentiment on the ground, had a series of meetings over several months and finally took a collective decision that we could not just sit there quietly whiles our people here in the North continued to endure worsening hardships with the President and his appointees showing no concern or care."
Abdul Kudu added, "We believe we have been worst hit by the reckless economic management and corruption in the country. Our schools and hospitals are struggling with basic supplies. The sick are dying, our kids are failing in school. Our farms are dry. Our farmers are no longer getting the subsidised support they relied on from the state. We see billions of dollars being borrowed and spent, but harvests here continue to be poor because no investments in irrigation by the state and the inputs have ceased coming."
He added, "The young people, as well as business owners, are completely disillusioned. Those with jobs are struggling. Many have lost their jobs and many businesses have closed down because of killer electricity tariffs. And, when hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in our name, like with SADA, we the intended beneficiaries do not benefit and not a single person is punished. It can only mean that the President supports the insulting treatment we are receiving."
It is the first time in the Region’s recent history that all the major opposition political parties are coming together to demonstrate against the President and his government. Their message is simple, "Enough is enough!"
The largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, together with the Convention People's Party, the National Democratic Party, the Progressive People's Party, the People's National Convention, and Hassan Ayariga's All Peoples Congress are all working together and organising their supporters across the Region to join Monday's peaceful demonstration.
Dubbed "DI MI YA”, Dagbani for “Times Are Hard," the news of the pending street protest has excited the young and old alike.
The North is facing massive unemployment, as Mahama's austerity measures hit the poor people most. Hairdressers, barbers, dressmakers, shop owners and commercial drivers have all pledged their active support for the protest.
Abdul Kudu said, as far as he was concerned all the political parties were doing it without the active support of their mother parties in Accra.
"But we are throwing an open invitation to them to join us. We are doing it to highlight the concerns of our people up here and that is the real issue. Our roads are bad, our water and electricity problems have become too costly. And, it appears the Flagstaff House is too far from us so we pray this noise will hopefully wake the President up. He has been sleeping on our issues for far too long," he quibbed.
Abdul Kudu, the spokesperson for the planning committee was confident “the North will send a strong signal to President Mahama on Monday that he can never take us for granted. He is supposed to be part of us, but he has betrayed the trust. He has not delivered for the North and we believe it is time to remind him in no uncertain terms.”
"DI MI YA” demo is expected to start from Zogbeli JHS ‘Block B’ Park.