Fix The Country demo hits Takoradi on Nkrumah Memorial Day

Convenors of the social media-birthed Fix The Country campaign took their protest to Takoradi in the Western Region on Tuesday, September 21.

Many hundreds of mostly young people clad in red clothing joined the march that saw protesters go through some of the principal streets of the regional capital.

Despite the day being a holiday in commemoration of the 112th birthday of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, the crowd at the march was not huge.

The protesters carried placards bearing such messages as “Fix The Country Now!”, “Greedy Politicians, Nzema Lands Are Not For Sale”, “Stop The Corruption”, among others.

The march in Takoradi follows another one in Accra on August 4 at which the convenors indicated their intention to carry the campaign throughout the country.

Background of the protests

The hashtag #FixTheCountry has dominated news headlines for months.

A group of unhappy Ghanaians hopped on to the social media platform Twitter to vent their frustrations after inflation jacked up prices in goods and services.

These price hikes were coupled with frequent power cuts and an increment in taxes.

Other concerns highlighted included unemployment, a wobbly healthcare system, housing deficits, poor road networks, etc.

A demonstration was subsequently planned for May 9, but the Ghana Police Service secured an injunction against the congregation.

A judge in an Accra High Court ruled that public demonstrations contravened restrictions on public gatherings meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Failure to abide by the set rule would amount to breaching the Public Order Act.

The convenors of the protest appealed the decision at the Supreme Court, which ruled that nothing bars the aggrieved youth from protesting.

“There is no breach of the rules of natural justice here. Order 95 Rule 1 says the High Court judge has jurisdiction over the case, but the order is temporal. As it stands now, there is no order for us to quash.

“There is no order preventing your clients (Protesters) from holding any demonstration. The law is clear that the injunction should last past 10 days. There is nothing restraining you, so what is your problem,” Justice Yaw Appau ruled.

But the police said the Supreme Court ruling did not also prevent them from serving the conveners of the protest with a preventive notice.

After another round of legal tussles, the way was cleared for the protest to happen on August 4.

On August 3, The Ghana Police Service assured the Economic Fighters League (EFL) and other #FixTheCountry convenors of protection for the scheduled demonstration.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), George Akuffo Dampare, who assumed office on Sunday, August 1, is said to have invited the group to his office to assure them of his very personal commitment to a peaceful march.

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