Some leading fishermen and canoe owners in the Western and Central Regions have pledged to support former President, John Dramani Mahama to come back to power to revive their collapsing fishing industry.
They alleged that aside the rising cost of fishing gear and other inputs they could not get the basic commodity pre-mix fuel to go to sea, because its distribution had been given to party foot soldiers instead of the previously launching beach committees.
The fishermen said this when they paid a courtesy call on the former President in Accra on Wednesday to express the frustration they had been going through for the past three years.
The group led by chief fisherman of Apeosiks, Nana Kofi Bentil, Chief fishermen of lower Axim, Nana Emmanuel Odwire of Half Asini and Nana Kojo Pegu also alleged that even the Ghanaian waters had been sold to foreign fishing to ply their trade and the locals had been denied with the “so called close season period”.
“We the local fishermen who have numerous mouths to feed, have been told not to go fishing for two months while foreign nationals are allowed to fish without any checks or control,” they added.
They said the two regions had realised their mistake of voting for the wrong party and promised to seek the backing of the various fishing groups to vote massively for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and also ensure that they would fully participate in his inauguration on January 7, 2021.
“It is only the rich and the affluent in society who are making money out of the system that would vote for the government but for us we shall accordingly advise and educate our people on the difficulties we are going through for a change of government,” they claimed.
The fishermen also urged Ghanaians not to accent the issue on the new voter register since it would create confusion in the country, if anything should go wrong during the elections.
The National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who welcomed the team said no government succeeded on fake promises and manipulation of the people as the NPP was doing now.
He said the December 7 election was waiting for them to demonstrate their constitutional mandate and bring the NDC and Mahama back to power.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo stated that the stance being taken by the EC on the new biometric register posed serious security threat to the country and commended the fishermen for also alerting the EC on its planned registration.
Mr Mahama commended the group for realising the difference between the NDC and the NPP.
According to him, it is better for a government to know the needs of the people and incorporate such decisions into their manifesto in order to provide their needs.
He said the late former President Evans Atta Mills laboured to bring changes in the collapsed pre-mix distribution only for the current government to collapse the “pre-mix” distribution by dissolving the landing beach committees who used the profit to develop their communities.
Mr Mahama bemoaned the abandoning of various fish processing plants constructed with the tax payer’s money.
He said the NDC was not against a new register but the date and timing of a new register could jeopardise the peace of the country.
The EC should tread cautiously and not do anything to disturb the peace of the country, adding that the EC would be held accountable for any confusion that would arise during the 2020 elections.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU