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General News Sat, 28 Dec 2019

Year in Review: 6 anti-government demonstrations in 2019 that hit Akufo-Addo hard

Since time immemorial, governments of the day have been found only to respond to the needs of the populace or citizenry after protests have been carried out.

Ghana bears no exception as leaders of the country have all had their fair share of the phenomenon.

From the first Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah to the incumbent president, Nana Akufo-Addo, their tenures have been riddled with anti-government demonstrations on one issue or the other.

So much so that some of these Presidents have earned nicknames based on their approaches in tackling them.

The immediate past president, John Mahama was nicknamed ‘dead goat’ after he proclaimed that he was unmoved by the antics of some protesting groups while he was in office.

As the year 2019 gradually draws to a close, www.ghanaweb.com brings to the fore a compilation of some anti-government demonstrations this year that hit President Akufo-Addo hard.

Car owners, dealers protest against luxury tax

A coalition of car dealers and owners on Thursday, March 7, 2109 staged a demonstration against the luxury vehicle tax in Accra.

The luxury tax which was introduced by government in August 2018 specifically for vehicles with engine capacity of 3.0 litres and above was vehemently opposed by users.

They drove their vehicles in a convoy through some principal streets, protesting the levy.

Dubbed: “Bobolebobo demonstration”, the demonstrators were from the Vehicle and Asset Dealers Association of Ghana (VADAG), National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association, True Drivers Union, Concerned Drivers Association, Ghana Committed Drivers Association and Chamber of Petroleum Consumers.

Kum yen preko demo

Another anti-government protest which hit the Akufo-Addo led administration was dubbed ‘Kum yen preko’ in the Akan dialect which means ‘kill us already’.

The march was organised by the Coalition for Social Justice and widely supported by leading members of the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) including former president Mahama.

The demonstration was against what they described as hardship, insecurity and oppression experienced under the current Akufo-Addo administration. Many of the protesters were seen clad in red, with placards bearing different messages up in the air to send off a strong signal about their displeasure.



Protest against new Parliamentary Chamber

Arguably one of the protests that hit government hardest was the one associated with the building of a new Parliamentary Chamber.

Government announced plans to erect a much comfortable multi-purpose 450-seater capacity chamber at a cost of $ 200m.

The protests which begun on social media as #Dropthatchamber garnered enough traction as three protesters got arrested in Parliament after screaming from the public gallery “drop that chamber.”

The initiative was subsequently suspended after the protests by Ghanaians.



Law students protest

Several law students hit the streets on October 7 to dramatize their frustrations on the educational system following yet another mass failure of the law school entrance examination.

The protests which went south resulting in the injuries and arrests of some of the leading members of the student association was caused by disagreement of over the route.

The frustrated law students were marching to the Jubilee House to submit a petition demanding reforms to the entrance law examinations.

Police used cannon water as well as rubber bullets to engage the marching protesters resulting in the injuries and some arrests afterwards.

Addressing the situation, however, the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo declared that the stance of the council was to avoid the churning out of substandard lawyers in the country.



Family of Takoradi kidnapped girls hit streets to demand dismissal of CID boss, others

Aggrieved family members and sympathisers of Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 18; Ruth Love Quayson 18, and Ruth Abeka who were abducted and gruesomely murdered hit the streets to demand the dismissal of some top security heads including the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah.

The Takoradi residents were venting their spleen at the security apparatus for ‘deceiving’ them about the whereabouts of the four girls who were kidnapped in 2018.

President Akufo-Addo during his final media encounter confessed that the occurrence was his biggest regret for the year.



TUTAG strike over conditions of service after conversion of polytechnics

In the last quarter of the year, lecturers of polytechnics across the country declared an indefinite sit-down strike over unfair salary and allowances after the conversion of their institutions into technical universities.

The members of the Technical University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (TUTAG) lamented that there were poor conditions of service and wanted to be included in negotiations by government.

They, however, called off their 3-week old strike in after meeting with the Labour Commission, Ministry of Finance and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission only to resume on Friday, December 27 after their terms were unmet.

TUTAG described the non-payment of their December public universities allowances as a refusal by government to comply with the ruling by the National Labor Commission.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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