General News of Wednesday, 2 July 2014
In its petition to President John Mahama, a group calling itself the Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance (CGRG) has raised concerns about the ever-depreciating value of the Ghanaian cedi, constant increases in taxes, inefficient revenue collection and very poor road networks in the country.
Among other things, the group also nagged at the constant increments in utility tariffs, erratic supply of electricity, frequent increase in the prices of petroleum products and the government’s inability to make statutory payments on time to schools, health facilities and other state institutions to effectively carry out their duties.
These, according to the group, have made life very unbearable for the citizenry. Members of the CGRG, who claim to be non-partisan and mainly from the ‘elite’ class had made their intentions already known to proceed to the seat of government during Ghana’s 54th Republic Day Tuesday to petition the president on what they described as the worsening economic situation in the country.
The Ghana Police Service initially denied the group the opportunity to embark on the adventure but after a crunch meeting Monday, they were given the nod to go on with the said demonstration.
Some hundreds of protesters gathered at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra from where they marched to the Flagstaff House to present their petition. They defied the heavy morning rains to carry out this mission of ‘Occupy Flagstaff House’.
Although all of them were not allowed in, three persons had the chance to petition the president on their behalf.
The preamble of the said petition read:
Dear President Mahama
IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD
“We the People of Ghana, IN EXERCISE of our Sovereignty as a people under Article 1(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and in further exercise of our natural and inalienable right to demand responsible governance, which shall secure for ourselves, and posterity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity; AND IN SOLEMN declaration and affirmation of our commitment to; Freedom, Justice, Probity and Accountability.
The Principle that all powers of Government spring from the Sovereign Will of the People; The Rule of Law; The protection and preservation of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Unity and Stability for our Nation; Do humbly petition your High Office” with the concerns raised above.
Further in the petition, the CGRG expressed “it is our firm conviction that every Ghanaian deserves to be happy. And we maintain that our collective happiness as a people is inextricably linked to responsible governance.”
“In light of this, we are of the view that in exercise of our sovereignty, we as a people must make a demand for responsible governance regardless of the political party holding the reins to governmental power. It is our intent to make this demand for responsible governance legitimately by exploring all avenues afforded us by law,” the petition pointed out.
Adding, it was for this reason that “we, the undersigned, together with other concerned Ghanaians have put together this petition for your kind consideration.
We have no doubt that this petition will receive the urgent attention it deserves because we trust that your government is a listening government.
Furthermore, we believe that having been elected on the back of a firm promise to make our nation a “Better Ghana” you will find sustainable solutions to the challenges outlined in this petition.”
It asserted the issues highlighted have been the grave concerns of ordinary Ghanaians who entrusted their wellbeing in the hands of the ruling government, of which President Mahama is the leader.
The group also recounted the humiliating situation in the camp of the Black Stars in the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
When it became under severe pressure, the government airlifted a whopping $3 million to settle the players’ appearance fees, which many said has brought shame to the country.
Each player was paid a $100,000 as appearance fees and event at that, the Brazilian government also took its share by way of taxation to the tune of $17,000. Each of them was taxed 17 per cent.