General News of Friday, 28 May 2010
ACCRA, May 27, --Thousands of mobile phone users took to the streets of Accra on Thursday to show their disapproval and displeasure with the poor services by mobile telecommunication companies operating in the country. The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), together with other consumer right groups, called on all mobile phone users in the country to switch off their mobile phones from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. local time on Thursday as part of its protest to express their demand for quality services from mobile phone service providers, MTN, Tigo, Kasapa, Vodafone, and Zain in the West African country.
Protesters gathered at the famous Kwame Nkrumah circle at the down town area, where they were briefed by their leaders on the routes and regulations for the demonstration.
The organizers made sure that all protesters put off their mobile phones as a warning sign to the operators that their services were nothing to write home about before they embarked on the protest march.
The demonstrators, mostly students, danced and sang as they passed through the main streets of the capital city with placards, some of which read "we are tired of your poor services", "stop tricky promotions" and "MTN, Tigo, Kasapa, Vodafone and Zain, the value is the same."
A heavy presence of armed policemen guaranteed the safety of both the organizers and protestors.
The protest ended at the premises of the Ministry of Communications, where the head of the CPA, Nana Prempeh Aduhene, on behalf of the protesters, presented a petition to the deputy communications minister, Dr Nartey Siaw Sapore.
Sapore assured the gatherers that the Ghanaian government would look into the petition and take necessary actions.
He said the government would ensure that telecom operators in the country did not short-change Ghanaian mobile phone users.
Prempeh Aduhene told Xinhua that the response they got from the public during the demonstration was an indication that Ghanaians were indeed fed up with the poor services of the telecom companies.
He said the agency would embark on a second demonstration to serve as a reminder if the Ghanaian authorities failed to caution and sanction the operators for their poor services to the general public.
Experts in the communications industry in Ghana estimated that the six-hour off-phone protest would cost the telecom companies a total loss of 6 million U.S. dollars in revenue.
Some protesters said that they anticipated total transformation and rightness in the operations of the telecom companies.