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Adom-Otchere takes on #FixTheCountry campaigners: ‘Be bold and read COVID economics

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Good Evening Ghana host Paul Adom-Otchere has asked the #FixTheCountry campaigners to be bold and read about COVID-19 economics so as to be more informed in their analyses about the state of the economy.

“Those of us who think that we should be bold and say, ‘be bold and say what?’ You, too, be bold and learn COVID economics”, he charged the campaigners, saying: “Go and be bold and read your book”.

“Don’t talk about fixing the economy without understanding that there was COVID or pretending that you didn’t understand the whole COVID economics”, Mr Adom-Otchere stressed. 

He said: “Maybe, you don’t understand COVID economics. Go and read it. Find somebody who understands it to teach you. COVID economics. Go and learn it. There’s something like that. It’s called COVID economics”.

In his view, “2020 was an unusual year”, noting: “Ghana was one of the few countries that grew above zero”.

He said: “Most countries were doing negative”.

According to him, even though he also hates taxes, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy makes it imperative.

“So, please, when we come to 2021 and the government says we should pay something; I don’t like taxes one bit, I wish I could circumvent all of them but, at least, in doing the analysis, I understand that there was COVID. Let’s not forget about that”, he said.

He said: “We ran a COVID economy successfully and we should be grateful and thankful for that; that we have the skillset in our society that was able to lead and run a COVID economy successfully. If we have run a COVID economy successfully, there would be something to pay for it. I don’t like that one bit.”

Meanwhile, 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.

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