Thousands of demonstrators brought the Kumasi town centre to a standstill as they took to the streets to protest against a range of grievances from capitation to corruption.
Wearing red and black funeral colours, the demonstrators waved placards and sang, chanted, danced and even wept to lament the “dark days in Ghana”.
The “YA Y3 D3N’ demonstration was intended to highlight the concerns of the Ashanti Region to the President, and appears to have drawn people from across the political divide.
The placards enumerated the many issues people are aggrieved about: “STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER”, “WHERE IS THE BETTER GHANA”?, “KUMASI PAA NIE!”, “ECONOMY IS BROKE” and “WE NEED JOBS”.
Others were however directed at the President: “MR PRESIDENT RESHUFFLE YOURSELF”, “PRESIDENT IS A CURSE TO THE NATION, WHY JM”? “WHAT A SHOCK ANTI-CHRIST”, “MAHAMA IS A THIEF”, “OPPRESSORS RULE IS FORBIDDEN, GOD HELP US TO RESIST IT” and “YABR3!!”, among others.
One demonstrator said he was protesting against the government’s “selectiveness”. He felt that the Ashanti Region was bearing the brunt of the current economic situation and that the region had been targeted with capitation and load shedding.
Although there were some political undertones, the main issues cited are facing Ghanaians across the board – capitation, the ailing economy, jobs, the collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme, students’ fees and ‘dumso, dumso’ (load shedding) and corruption, among others.
The demonstration attracted top National Patriotic Party personnel including Chairman Freddie Blay, Chairman Wontumi, Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Akoto Osei, Elizabeth Agyemang, Isaac Osei, Isaac Asiamang, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, Owuraku Aidoo and many civil personnel.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Anthony Kwaku Boahen has described the demonstrators as irresponsible, jobless and having nothing more meaningful to do.
In response to Mr Boahen’s comment, senior lawyer, Kwame Adom Appiah said: “Looking at the number of Ghanaians present, it clearly proves that indeed Ghanaians are jobless and the President is incompetent.”
The demonstration attracted people from across the Ashanti Region and beyond.
With Evans Osei-Bonsu (Kessben FM)