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Africa News of Tuesday, 4 May 2021


Ghana's #Fixthecountrynow mirrors #EndSARS protest but they must hit the streets to get results

Ghanaians are angry with their leaders particularly this government.

Their anger stems from the government's failure to purge the country of corruption. They are also angry because successive governments have failed in addressing the myriad of problems facing the youths in the country. One is creating jobs and the needed environment to ensure the youths can thrive and achieve their set goals.

A Twitter trend that dominated the news cycle this morning, Tuesday, May 4, is #Fixthecountrynow. The trend seats pretty at number one on the micro-blogging platform. The conversation switched to mainstream media with one of the biggest morning radio shows in the country dwelling and discussing the tweets, opinions, cries of angry Ghanaians.

The myriad of complaints include: persistent power outages (dumsor), water crisis, poor sanitation, poor roads, high cost of living, unemployment, and depreciating cedis.

A user with the name, Maame Efua and handle, @omec_gh said: "#Fixthecountrynow Fix the country, we are tired of your lies," one will assume her outburst is with the ruling government.

While citizens of Ghana should be applauded for holding their leaders accountable, a lot needs to be done other than just tweeting and hiding behind smartphones or other devices.

Lessons can be learned from the recent End SARS protest in Nigeria that stretched to major cities across the globe. The Black Lives Matter movement that generated as a result of the death of the unarmed George Floyd in the US city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is also a perfect case study.

The End SARS protest began after SARS officers continued to act with impunity, committing armed robberies, rapes, other acts of torture, and extrajudicial killings like the one in Delta State. The trendy video from Ughelli in Delta State broke the camels back.

The protests were led predominantly by the youth alongside a number of famous celebrities on social media and on the ground. The message was clear, they wanted the dissolution of SARS and the five points demand namely: release of arrested protesters; justice for victims of police brutality; prosecution of police bad eggs; retraining of ex-SARS members; police salary increase.

In spite of the protest not fulfilling all of its mandates, it was able to fulfill the core. Arguably the success of the protest was hinged on masses that gathered on the streets.

The same can be said about the Black Lives Matter movement, the movement was led on social media by Former President, Barrack Obama, Kanye West, Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey Jay Z just to mention a few. Apart from this support on social media platforms, Adam Lambert, Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid, Beyoncé, Doutzen Kroes & Iman Hammam just to mention hit the streets with angry protesters. The result was massive. Nearly half a million people turned out in nearly 550 places across the United States, according to New York Times.

Four polls — including one released by Civis Analytics, a data science firm that works with businesses and Democratic campaigns — suggest that about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks.

These figures would make the recent protests the largest movement in the country’s history, according to interviews with scholars and crowd-counting experts.

While the socio-political landscape in Ghana might differ from Nigeria and the United States, it has become clear that governments across the globe understand the language of protest.

Read what Ghanaians are saying:

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