'President Mahama is naked;Nobody tells him the truth'- Occupy Flagstaff House protesters charge

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 01-07-2014 Time: 08:07:11:am
President John Mahama

Over 300 protesters are charging to the Flagstaff House House in an unprecedented march armed with a common theme summed up in a protester's placard "the King is naked".

The protester and founder of Energy Solutions Foundation, Golda Addo, told Joy Fm's Super Morning Show "the King thinks that he is in fancy clothes but the king is naked. Nobody is telling him the truth."

The non-partisan group calling itself Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance (CGRG) is marching to petition President John Mahama on what it said, has been the worsening economic conditions in the country.

Dubbed 'Occupy Flagstaff House', the organizers say every Ghanaian deserved to be happy and are tired of talking about hardship on social media.

It is timed to coincide with the celebration of Ghana's 54th Republic Day, July 1 - the day that the country totally weaned itself from British Colonial rule

About 50 Ghanaians quickly gathered a steam of 300 and pitched camp at the Efua Sutherland Children's Park to march to the Flagstaff House.

They shook hands with the Police.

The DSP revealed they have agreed with the organizers to allow only three protesters to walk into the Flagstaff House and present their petition to the president.

Largely a middle class gathering, the protesters included former MTN Chief Marketing Officer George Andah, Vice President of  local think-tank IMANI Kofi Bentil, and Yoofi Grant of Databank, and Dr. Esi Ansah, lecturer at the Ashesi University.

"The things that are happening, the perceived corruption should be stopped", George Andah said, and added employers were branded wicked by their staff if they were unable to pay their salaries."

A protester  tasked the President to wake up to his responsibilities. "Ghana is not a complex situation", she argued. Other countries like India was more difficult to manage, she maintained. She called on the President to "sack people for doing the wrong thing. People are so used to consequences for bad behaviour."

A former winner of the Miss Ghana Pageant, Bridgette, said she couldn't take any more "nonsense". She is "angry" and" hungry" after she couldn't get fuel for her car, power to keep her phone charged and her food preserved. She lashed out on facebook last Monday and decided to join the protesters.

Organiser Ebo Sam said he was delighted with the numbers. Many of the protesters believe the demonstration is about the quality of the number and not the quantity. They branded themselves Ghana's critical mass.

The Police say the decision to allow three protesters to walk into the Flagstaff House deemed a security zone is unprecedented.

"It has never happened before; that we should take people to the seat of government...we can break a small protocol to allow them", DSP Freeman Tettey said

The demonstration initially disallowed by Ghana Police Service comes off after government okayed the march. The police argued the force would be stretched to provide security in public places as the country celebrates this year's Republic Day Tuesday. They also were reluctant because the Flagstaff House is a security zone.

"Why not? we can break a small protocol to allow them," the Police said.

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