Drivers eager to demonstrate over a wide range of issues capitulated after police, leaving no stone unturned, showed up in full force.
The already displeased drivers are freshly displeased at the overawing size of the police force ready to chaperone the displeased drivers through the busy streets of Accra.
“We are drivers we just want to demonstrate and see the heavy presence of police”, PRO of the group, Concerned Drivers Association laughed through his lament.
“See, Fulani herdsmen are killing people in Agogo. They need policemen to battle them they don’t have.
“But drivers want to go on demonstration [and] see what is happening here – millions of police officers”, he finished.
Joy News reporter Maxwell Agbagba sighted two water cannons, the PRO adds armoured cars and Agbagba completes his 8:30am observation by putting the police force at more than 50. The drivers are about 10, he says.
The PRO said the frustrations they are going through to organise this demonstration is a sign that drivers are generally taken for a ride in this country.
“Our name [the title] doctor is not added to it, professor is not added to it, lawyer or engineer is not added to it so we take drivers for granted”, he made a streetwise assessment of the situation.
The shocked potential protesters delivered their own shock to the police after demanding to demonstrate with their vehicles.
It means leaving the police to endure the hot sun alone while the drivers honk their displeasure in the relative comfort of their cars.
The PRO saw nothing strange about this request.
He said the police carry authority and if they barked instructions to pedestrians and motorists to use one side of the road and allow the driving drivers demonstrations on the other side, it will be obeyed.
An unamused Chief Supt. Kwesi Ofori wearing a frown explained “all over the world, we don’t accept vehicular demonstrations. It is people that walk and carry their placards”, he hinted at their own displeasure walking while drivers danced in their cars.
“We cannot permit this kind of demonstration; it is not in our books,” he made it clear and invited the drivers to go to court if his simple explanation needed a touch of legal jargons to sound right.
And so past 10am, the demonstration was called off over a stand-off about whether to walk or drive.
But with Joy News cameras present, the PRO spoke to the issues for which they were to demonstrate.
“The main, main issue is the fuel” he stressed. A gallon is now ¢20, he said comparing it with a 2016 price of ¢14.30. The jump is too much and it has not been matched by a commensurate jump in transport fares, he analysed.
A taxi loads ¢5.50 per passenger, a fare which he summed up charity, not commerce. “We are running charity more than Osu Childrens’ home”, he tested his skills in the use of literary devices.
The other issue he said is the new drivers’ license. It is a smart card with a cut-throat price, he said.
They have seen it. They liked it but it doesn’t make them happy.
The paper licence cost the drivers ¢64. The new and improved one is ¢155. “The amount is too much,” the PRO said and demanded a slash.
That was all the PRO could say as he rushed off to speak to other journalists.
That is how a planned protest was paralysed over the process to leave the government to heave a sigh of relief.