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Diasporia News of Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Source: Lord Kweku Sekyi, Contributor

#FixTheCountry: Ghanaians in Spain announce July 3 for next protest in Madrid

Ghanaians in Valencia have announced an upcoming protest on July 3 play videoGhanaians in Valencia have announced an upcoming protest on July 3

Ghanaian nationals who embarked on a street protest in the Spanish city of Valencia on June 14, 2021, have announced July 3 as the next date for another protest near the Ghanaian Embassy in Madrid.

The second protest, according to the spokesperson for the organizers, Tawiah Mensah, is intended to fall in sync with the main #FixTheCountry demonstration scheduled for July 3, 2021, in Accra.

Speaking in an interview with Lord Kweku Sekyi, Mr. Mensah described the first demonstration as peaceful and without any incident.

He said some officials of the Ghana Embassy in Madrid have contacted him regarding concerns raised by protesters about extortion and other alleged shady deals at the embassy.

"The embassy initially tried to stop us from going on demonstration but we were determined to let the world know what is happening."

"They charge as much as 230 euros for a passport, demand physical cash, and refuse to give official receipts for payments made at the embassy.

Mr. Mensah said, aside from extortion, Ghanaians who visit the embassy are also humiliated and have their phones confiscated as soon as they enter the premises.

"Why do you seize our mobile phones if you have nothing to hide?" he asked.

He said some victims have still managed to get video evidence of the alleged malpractices at the embassy and the group will publish them in due time.

A member of the Association of Ghanaians in Valencia, Jane Mensah, who read the group's petition blamed poor leadership for Ghana's woes and called on Ghanaian citizens in every part of the globe to support the call for accountability and better governance through the Fix The Country movement.

She said, government officials, instead of investing in improving the health sector, would rather travel abroad for healthcare, leaving ordinary citizens to suffer the consequences of a broken health system with inadequate beds and other basic facilities.

#FixTheCountry began as a protest hashtag among Ghanaian social media users in May 2021 with the aim to put pressure on the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo to better the lives of citizens.

The campaign was hit with a major setback when its first planned public demonstration scheduled for May 9, 2021, was refused a permit by the police administration through a court injunction after the police warned the public against hitting the streets.

The Head of the Public Relations Office of the Accra Regional Police Command, ASP Effia Tenge, disclosed that the protest would not be allowed to go on as a result of COVID-19 and its public health implications.

However, following the decision by a Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Yaw Appau to set aside the order that barred the campaigners from staging a street protest, the first Fix The Country street protest in Ghana is expected to be held on Saturday, July 3, 2021.