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Regional News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Obuasi NDC Taunts NPP Over Fuel Prices

Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Obuasi in Ashanti, last Saturday embarked on a street carnival to jubilate over the announcement of petroleum price increases by the government.

Comparing the (P)NDC’s 20 years of administration, to the two years of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the marchers claimed that Ghanaians were living happily in those years under the NDC Administration, but now everyone looks dejected and feels neglected.

The NDC group accused the NPP Administration of increasing the price of petrol to ?20,000 within just two years of taking up the mantle of leadership of the country when the price of petrol was ?6,000 (?5,300 actual) per gallon, before they lost the elections.

The NDC supporters, dressed in party colours, danced to brass band music and marched from Obuasi Zongo through Kwabrafoso to Tutuka and finally converged on the Freeman Methodist Church.

The jubilation which lasted for about two hours, was, however, violent-free.

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In a related development, a group of angry NPP youth on Monday January 20, besieged the premises of Success FM in Goaso in the Asunafo district of Brong Ahafo and nearly vandalised the station, reports the Ghana News Agency. The timely intervention of Mr George Yaw Boakye, District Chief Executive, saved the situation from degeneration.

The attack followed an hour’s programme granted to a former NDC Member of Parliament for Asutifi South, Mr Collins Dauda.

The youth accused the station of not allowing a phone-in segment to enable them to react and ask questions on the programme.

All attempts by the police to calm the situation proved futile until the DCE came in to calm the angry youth and get them dispersed.

On the programme, the former MP was reported to have reacted to the fuel increases and the general performance of the NPP Administration during its two years in office.

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Meanwhile, Mr Alex Sawyer Ativor, the Asokwa-West chairman of the NDC has asked Ghanaians to strive to adjust to the new price increases in the price of petroleum products even though they were very harsh measures taken by the government. He also called on motorists not to take the law into their own hands, but strive to abide by the new transport fares announced by government.

Mr Ativor explained that there was no need brooding over the measure since the government had already announced the increases.

The NDC chairman suggested to the government to act swiftly in ushering in the buses for the public mass transport system to mitigate the problems workers would have to face in view of the hike in transport fares.

Mr Ativor rationalised that since government was not yet ready to increase salaries of workers, the only option to mitigate the current transport problems of the workers would be to ensure that the public transport system was quickly introduced.

Mr Ativor who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) was, however, of the view that increases in prices of petroleum products was not the only means or avenue for raising revenue to clear the indebtedness of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) or addressing problems of the economy.

Source: Daily Guide