Adams — Thousands of Ghanaians yesterday hit the streets of Accra to demand the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison and his two deputies.
According to the protesters, the governor was mismanaging the bank, resulting in unsustainable debt and bankruptcy.
They further accused the leadership of BoG of superintending over reckless expenditure, including the construction of the new US$250 million Bank of Ghana head office.
Dubbed, #OccupyBoG, the protest was organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority caucus in Parliament in collaboration with other pressure groups including Arise Ghana.
Clad in red and black attire and other paraphernalia, the protesters converged on the Obra Spot, where the protest was scheduled to commence at about 7:00am.
The protesters, which included a large population of youth and women, held placards with various inscriptions including “Addison Must Go”, “Professional Incompetence is a Crime”, “Stop Misusing our Money”, “Students are Suffering”, “Bawumia, Give the Economy a Showdown”, and “BoG now a Printing Machine”.
Others were “Vampire Government”, “Ofori-Atta must go to jail”, “Scrap E-levy Now”, “Enough is Enough”, “We are hungry”, “Bawumia we need your lectures”, and “Save our Ghana from Collapse.”
There was heavy security presence at the converging points and along the agreed routes for the protest.
From Obra Spot, the protesters marched towards Adabraka where a near scuffle emerged between the protesters and the police when the police restricted protesters from moving ahead of them and blocking the Adabraka high street to disallow protesters from using that stretch.
The disagreement was immediately resolved by the leadership of the demonstration and the police with the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, re-directing the protesters to a different route with the aid of a loudspeaker.
They went through the Ridge roundabout, the National Theatre traffic light, the High Court complex traffic light, and the Atta Mills High Street.
Throughout the demonstration, the protesters chanted patriotic songs to urge all Ghanaians to seek for good governance, intensify corruption fights and accountability.
Some other protesters also took the unusual posture of either sitting or rolling their bodies on the streets while wailing and demanding for action to end corruption, misapplication of state resources and bad governance.
As earlier announced by the police, the road leading to the current BoG headquarters from the NLA traffic light was blocked with barricades and compelling the protesters to make a U-turn at the National Lottery Authority (NLA) traffic light and proceeded to Black Star Square to end the exercise.
At about 3:20pm, the leadership of the protesters including the Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Mr Asiedu Nketia, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, Mr Sam George and other members of the Minority Caucus were led by police personnel to the BoG headquarters to present their petition to the governor.
The group, however, refused to present the petition to Wing Commander Kwame Asare Boateng, Director of Security, BoG in the absence of the governor.
Wing Commander Boateng said that Dr Addison was in a meeting with a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was therefore unavailable to receive the petition.
Dr Forson, in response, said the decision by the governor to avoid the protesters was disrespectful and vowed to return later when the governor was available for the presentation.
Earlier, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, National Chairman of the NDC, accused the governor of BoG of mismanaging the Central Bank, saying that, it was time for him and the deputies to be removed.
He said the protesters were only heading to the BoG to submit their petition to the governor, hence there was no need for the police to fight them.
“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,” he stated.