Prime News Ghana

‘Your demands are legitimate; cannot be ignored’ – Bawumia to #OccupyJulorbiHouse protesters

By Vincent Ashitey
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A group of young people hit the streets of Accra for 3 days (from Thursday, September 21, to September 23, 2023) as part of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration against the government.

The protesters among other things called on “the President and members of the Economic Management Team to #FixTheCountry in light of the level of economic mismanagement and theft that has engulfed our government from the highest levels.”

49 protesters who were arrested on the first day were later released. According to the Police, their arrest was in "connection with an unlawful assembly and violation of the Public Order Act."

Speaking for the first time on the protest, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia acknowledged the legitimacy of the demands made by the demonstrators.

According to him, these concerns cannot be overlooked.

He said this when he addressed thousands of supporters in Accra after being declared the winner of the NPP Primaries on Saturday.

"While on the campaign, I became aware of a 3-day demonstration staged by the young people of our country," Dr. Bawumia said.

"They had a simple message for the political class: they needed more opportunities for work, they needed improved living conditions, and they wanted improved public services. These are legitimate demands and we cannot ignore them."

The Vice President stated that he has spent the last seven years assisting the President in delivering on many of these demands. He added, however, that with the unforeseen global economic crisis of the past three years making life difficult, much more needs to be done to create more opportunities for the youth. He declared that he has his "own vision and priorities."

"I have spent the last seven years assisting the President in delivering on many of these demands: creating more opportunities for the youth, improving the well-being of our people, providing inclusive access to secondary education and healthcare, developing and expanding the road infrastructure of our country, making public services more accessible, and leveraging technology to fast-track development," he said.

"Despite these achievements, the unforeseen global economic downturn of the past three years, which derailed the significant economic gains and impact we made between 2017 and 2021, has had a devastating effect on our economy in the past two years, just as it has on many other economies in the world. This has affected many, including the government itself, the private sector, and our households. The cost of living has increased dramatically, and Ghanaians are feeling the pinch. I have seen the sacrifices Ghanaians are making and the hardships many Ghanaians are going through, and I am as concerned as my fellow countrymen and women."

"By the grace of the Almighty God, together with the remarkable sacrifices, patience, and optimism of Ghanaians, the work of economic recovery is underway: GDP growth has picked up, consumer price inflation is on the decline, exchange rate depreciation has dramatically slowed down, and the budget deficit as a % of GDP is on the decline. I will continue to work hard to sustain these gains."