undreds of supporters of opposition parties in the Tamale metropolis of the Northern Region, yesterday went on a peaceful demonstration through the principal streets of the city to protest against high tariffs of electricity and water.
The parties which took part in the demonstration included the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), United People’s Party (UPP), and National Democratic Party (NDP).
According to the demonstrators, the high cost of electricity and water were collapsing businesses of the people in the region.
The demonstration, which was christened ‘Di Mii Ya Demo’ (literally meaning “Times are hard”), was meant to force the government to reduce the electricity and water tariffs.
They danced to the tune of local music while calling on the President to impress upon the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to reduce the tariffs.
The demonstrators, clad in red carried placards some of which read: “No Reduction No Vote,’ ‘JM Reduce these killer tariffs’, ‘JM you must listen to us,’ Stop killing our businesses’ and ‘We are suffering too much”.
The Northern Regional Communication Director of NPP, Mr. Mohammed Abdul-Kudus, speaking to a cross-section of the media before the start of the demonstration, hinted that they would stage more demonstrations if the government failed to reduce the tariffs.
He accused the government of deliberately making life unbearable for the people of the north.
Mr. Kudus stressed that people in the north were suffering, especially the market women who were finding it very difficult to cope with the high cost of living.
He expressed worry about the collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and indicated that many patients who were registered with the scheme had been turned away by some health institutions.
The Northern Regional chairman of the NPP, Bugri Naabu, who joined the demonstration, stated that President Mahama’s government had brought untold hardship on people of the three northern regions.
Mr. Naabu lamented that residents of the region could no more pay their wards’ school fees.
From Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Tamale.