The Greater Accra Regional Police Command has indicated that it cannot permit the #FixTheCountry group to embark on their intended protest.
The #FixTheCountry campaigners wrote to the Ghana Police Service to notify the law enforcement body of their intention to demonstrate on 9 May 2021 against hardships in the country.
The conveners of the demonstration include Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, Felicity Nelson, Efia Odo, Samuel Alesu-Dordzi, Della Russel Ocloo, Joshua Boye-Doe, Bashiratu Kamal-Muslim, Agyapong Forster, Adatsi Brownson and Benjamin Darko.
They are being supported by a host of stars and celebrities on social media.
The group said in its letter to the police that the event, which is a “single-purpose” one, “is being organised on the back of a string of consistently broken promises by successive governments; and in the exercise of our democratic rights as citizens to express our frustration over perennial governmental incompetence, refusal, and/or inability to fix the country”.
The organisers said they believe, “as does the president, that democracy is not a spectator sport”, adding: “We are committed to improving the substance of governance in this country by ensuring that the ordinary voices of Ghanaians provide a mechanism to hold elected officials accountable”.
“There comes a point where enough is enough. Just fix the Country!!! That’s our only message. We have had it with purposeful deceit and the absence of truth and genuine accountability in how this country is being governed”, the group said.
The letter explained that it chose 9 May because “it captures the restless spirit of over 126 Ghanaians who lost their lives in the May 9 Accra Sports Stadium disaster due to institutionalised incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives” and “secondly, the protest commemorates the 26-anniversary of the Kume Preko Demonstration of 11 May 1995.”
“Thus, the event draws inspiration from the undying culture of protest and dissent that have forged our democracy, and which Kume Preko has become a synonym for in our collective memory.”
They intend to march from the Black Star Square Accra to Maxmart at 37.
But, according to the Public Relations Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Effia Tenge, the Public Order Act, which imposes a ban on public gatherings, especially due to the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrains the Command from sanctioning the #FixTheCountry demonstration.
“The notification to the police to organise a demonstration is provided by the Public Order Act and, so, once we receive a notification from any organiser or a group of people planning on such a demonstration, what we do as a command is to invite them, sit down, we look at the letter, look at the merits of the letter on such a demonstration,” she told Class News.
“If there’s anything the police needs to take note of and advise the group as such; whether the letter, in a way, endangers public safety; whether the police has the numbers to protect the demonstrating public; we take all these into consideration and then the police decides what action to take based on the discussions between us and the groups who are intending to embark on this demonstration,” DSP Effia Tenge further noted.
Demands for better governance and accountability from the government have gained momentum on social media in recent times.
Especially, on Twitter, Ghanaians are championing #FixTheCountry campaigns to draw attention to problems such as unemployment, poor health systems, poor road networks, accommodation cost, cost of utility bills, erratic power and water supply and general cost of living among others.