A well-coordinated group made up of millions of disgruntled Ghanaian youth have sent a notice to the Ghana Police Service (GPS) of an impending protest calling for the Akufo Addo administration to fix its bad governance in a youth-inspired social media campaign dubbed #FixTheCountry.
The group made up of more than 22 convenors from showbiz, media, civil society pressure groups have set May 9, as their designated protest day and they have served notice that it will be a re-enactment and the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the famous “Kume Preko” demonstration that was led by now-President Akufo Addo and a few political and media stalwarts.
Kume Preko was an anti-government demonstration that was staged in opposition to the Value Added Tax (VAT) initiative which was introduced under the Jerry John Rawlings administration. “Kume Preko” in Akan translates to „You may as well kill me”, as the demonstrators warned that they were ready to die for the cause.
The new Kume Preko is ironically coming during the government led by President Akufo Addo following the draconian introduction of several taxes and new levies that pales the VAT in comparison.
These levies have been slapped on petroleum prices and it is expected to shoot up prices of food, goods and services drastically in the next couple of days.
In their letter to the Police, the #FixTheCountry pressure group explained that the May 9, 2021 date was selected to capture the restless spirit of the over 126 Ghanaians who lost their lives some 20 years ago at the Accra Sports Stadium due to the “institutionalized incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives,” as well as the Kume Preko demonstration of 1995.
“First, it captures the restless spirit of over 126 Ghanaians who lost their lives in the May 9th Accra Sports Stadium Disaster due to institutionalized incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives. Secondly, the Protest commemorates the 26th Anniversary of the Kume Preko Demonstration of 11 May 1995,” the group stated.
“Thus, the event draws inspiration from the undying culture of protest and dissent that has forged our democracy, and which Kume Preko has become a synonym for in our collective memory.”
Their comprehensive notice to the police laid out detailed plans for the demonstration including the planned protest route and COVID-19 compliant protocols.
The group is has mushroomed several well-coordinated social media groups of disgruntled youths in what eerily feels like a brewing storm similar to the Arab Spring that virtually destabilised the Middle East and had become a template for subsequent civil uprisings across the world.
The snowballing uprising had started on Sunday, May 2, 2021, against the Akufo Addo administration as the hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians youth bemoan the sorry state of the economy, despite the government having contracted more loans than all governments since independence.
Prominent among the complaints by the youth are sentiments against the rising spate of youth unemployment, abandoned health system, skyrocketing home-renting rates, poor road networks, official connivance with Chinese miners to destroy forest reserves and water bodies across the country and a general lack of commitment to the welfare of Ghanaians citizens.
The avalanche of anger pouring out of the country’s youthful population has forced political scientists to note that the entire episode could explode into an all-out civil uprising similar to ones in 2019 and 2020 that toppled four governments in Iraq, Sudan, Algeria and Bolivia. Similar uprisings in some 10 other countries like Chile, Ecuador, France, Spain, India, Honk Kong, etc, were forced to make drastic concessions to prevent an all-out blow over.