……Minority leader declares at occupy BoG demo
Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson, has called for an end to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s extravagant lifestyle.
According to him, Bank of Ghana Governor, Ernest Addison, printed loads of cash amounting to GH¢80 billion for the Akufo-Addo government to live a champagne lifestyle on an akpeteshie budget, and attributed the high inflation the country has been experiencing lately to excess cash flow in the system.
Speaking to journalists at the #OccupyBoG march on Tuesday October 3, 2023, to force Dr Addison and his two deputies to resign, in their view for mismanaging the central bank and illegally printing and writing off GHC48.40 billion owed by the government, Dr Forson said: “This particular Governor should not be allowed to stay in office”.
The protesters held placards some of which read; scrap the 10% tax on sports betting now”, “Lucifer is more honest than Bawuliar”, “We also want the duty free shop at the Airport”, “Bawumia is a fraud”, “the stealing is too much”, “we are tired of poverty and hunger”, “buy vaccines for children not cars”, “Ghana’s democracy is not a butt joke, “Galamsey Government” and “Peace Council of Ghana, speak truth to power before it is too late”.
Others read; “you are a candidate for jail, Mr. Governor resign now”, GHS77 billion printed for government – na sika no wo hen”.
“He’s a printer and we all know what printing does: Printing of money is like alcoholism — the perceived good effect comes immediately and the hangover comes after the party”, Dr Forson indicated.
He said, the Akufo-Addo government, together with the Governor, “hasn’t been fair to the people of Ghana”.
“In fact, Governor Addison printed for President Akufo-Addo for them to live a champagne lifestyle on an akpeteshie budget”.
“We can’t continue this way. Today, look at what is happening to our economy. Ghanaians are struggling, finding it difficult to survive. In fact, some are struggling to eat three times in a day”, Dr Forson noted.
“We can’t continue this way. We want this government out. The Governor must go and the president must be allowed to appoint a new set of Bank of Ghana team”, Dr Forson added.
The Minority Caucus in Parliament at what was thought to be the end of the demonstration, refused to present its petition to the Director of Security at the Bank of Ghana.
The leaders of the Occupy BoG protest, refused to present the petition due to the governor’s absence.
Wing Commander Kwame Asare Boateng, head of security at the Central Bank, came out to receive the Minority’s petition on behalf of Governor.
However, Minority Leader, refused and described the Bank’s decision as disrespectful.
The protest leadership was met by Wing Commander Kwame Asare Boateng and a host of the Bank’s leadership, who told the protesters that Governor Addison was in a meeting with a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was therefore unavailable to receive the petition.
“We were informed that you would come and present the petition, but as we speak, the governor is in a meeting with the IMF team,” Wing Commander Kwame Asare Boateng told the protesters.
But the Minority Leader, described the decision as disrespectful and vowed to return later when the governor is available to receive the petition in person.
“It is very disrespectful not to receive the petition himself. Not even the deputy is here, and we never said we were going to present our petition to security, and we would not give you the petition.”
“Now that he has decided to disrespect us, we will not present our petition, and so we will go and come back again. Until we see him, this is just the beginning,” he added.
The organizers of the #OccupyBoGdemo threatened to hold countless protests if the governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and his deputies fail to step down.
Some of the MPs present at the protest, include Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Mahama Ayariga, Francis-Xavier Sosu, Cletus Avoka, Clement Apaak, and Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, as well as some national executives of the NDC.
Clement Apaak, the deputy ranking member on the education committee, explained to Citi News how the losses incurred by the BoG, could have saved the education sector.
“We are here because we want a public expression of the disappointment by the management of the Bank of Ghana and with this we are calling on the Governor of the BoG to resign and he has failed to do so. And we think that we have to lead this prominent protest to tell Ghanaians of our dissatisfaction with the incompetence in the management of the BoG,” he said.
National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, also addressed the protestors in the early hours of the protest, stating: “If you allow a security zone to become a haven for criminals, we have a right to declare that security zone a crime scene and we have a right to chase those criminals. We are not going there to fight anyone. We are only taking the petition to the one we have assigned to work for us but if you say that place is a security zone, then you will have to arrest all of us.
“So we are going, we don’t want any fights but we are only enjoying our rights in this democratic country. But if we are trying to sack the people we pay who are still stealing from us then we will have to blame you the security personnel.”
The protestors marched from Obra Spot through Adabraka, Ridge roundabout, National Theatre traffic light, high court complex traffic light, and Atta Mills high street. U-turn at the National Lottery traffic light and end the protest at Independence Square.
However, Cassiel Ato Forson, insisted that the leaders of the protest must be given access to the premises of the Bank of Ghana to present their petition.
“We will take a U-turn on the John Evans Atta Mills high street in front of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and when we get there we will cry for Kwame Nkrumah’s body to understand that the Ghana he left behind had been messed up. And when we get there demonstration will end there,” he said.
“But when we get there the leaders of the demonstration will have to be given the opportunity to present the petition to the governor himself, Addison the printer else we will not close the demonstration today. So we want the police service to be aware and prepare the Governor to receive the petition.”