2nd Arise Ghana demo ends peacefully …Protestors present petition to Parliament, Finance Ministry    

Arise Ghana protestors embarked on the second day of the ‘Krom Ay3shi’ demonstration to express their grievances about the harsh economic situation, in the country in Accra Yesterday.

The demonstration which started from El Wak sports stadium at about 12:15pm under the leadership of Mr Bernard Monarh, former chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Sammy Gyamfi, Communication Officer, and Joshua Hamidu Akamba, National Organiser, both of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The demonstrators used the Second Circular Road, passing in front of the Jubilee House, through the Independence Avenue making a left turn on the Liberation Road and arrived at the Ministry of Finance where they presented a petition to the DeputyMinisters of Finance, Mr John Kumah and Mrs Abena Osei Asare.

The protestors continued onto the 28th February Road passing in front of the Accra Sports Stadium and finally converged at the Parliament House and presented a petition to the leadership of Parliament.

Protestors clad in red and black attire, held placards with inscriptions such as “Songhor salt stolen forever; Russia-Ukraine war has nothing to do with the hikes, reduce fuel prices now!; We won’t allow you to rob our future with this Agyapa deal; Job opportunities for all-scam; Repeal the obnoxious E-levy Act now.”

At the El Wak, a man who was believed to be a former National Security operative was arrested with fire arm.

Also the National Organiserof the NDC, Joshua Hamidu Akamba, was spotted with a fire arm which he later turned in to the leadership of the police on site.

Making the presentation, the lead convener of the demonstration, Bernard Mornah said the purpose of the demonstration was to prove to Ghanaians that Arise Ghana could undergo a peaceful demonstration.

Among the demands of the demonstrators as listed in the petition, he said were the “call for the immediate withdrawal of the E-Levy act, the scrapping of the Borla tax and the numerous taxes on the fuel.”

He appealed to the government to address the rate of unemployment in the country, tackle inflation, and address the issue of the salt miners at Songhor and with immediate effect arrest the falling cedi.”

In responding to the question about the police wanting to arrest the leaders of the demonstration, he said he surrendered himself to the police but they said “you are free to go.”

Receiving the petition on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Mrs Abena Osei Asare said she and her colleague would convey the contents of the petition to the Minister of Finance and the government for the necessary consideration.

She hinted government was engaging the necessary stakeholders to address the economic challenges in the country due to the Russia and Ukraine war and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also appealed to the demonstrators to abide by all the laid down regulations to avoid the confusion created on Tuesday.

At ParliamentHouse the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the petition would be conveyed to the Speaker of Parliament who would ensure it gets the needed attention.

He expressed his support for the demonstrators as they were aware of the increasing hardships in the country.

“Unemployment is high, cost of doing business is high and we at parliament have taken note and we would do the needful to also review the petroleum taxes,” he said

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the concerns of the demonstrators would be addressed.

However, the first day of the demonstration was marred with violence which led to the arrest of 29 persons and left 12 police personnel injured.

BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE

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