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AFAG to stage mass demonstration over worsening living conditions, corruption in Ghana

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The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a political pressure group on Tuesday announced that it would embark on series of mass demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction on the worsening living standards of Ghanaians and the grave corruption in the country.

The group said the cry and pain of the ordinary Ghanaian as of now, had grown from bad to worst while poverty levels were unprecedented.

Mr Abu Ramadan, Operations Commander, AFAG, addressing a press conference in Accra said the group was more than resolved in their effort to expose the level of incompetence, cronyism and grave corruption in the National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) Government set-up.

The first demonstration dubbed: “AFAG Atta Wayo Demonstration” would be held in Accra on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 with a march through some principal streets of the capital.

Mr Ramadan said the President Mills-led Government had demonstrated to Ghanaians that all the cautions from AFAG and other civil society organisations with respect to fading purchasing power, suffering, hardship and huge corruption within his government and public institutions had fallen on deaf ears.

However, he said, the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) in all these trying moments, continued to look on helplessly in the midst of the high spate of labour agitation, sky-rocketing youth unemployment, pandemic level of insecurity, worsening living standards of Ghanaians, and the unprecedented height of corruption that had permeated this administration.

Mr Ramadan said the most strange aspect was the fact that from President Mills down to the last person in the NDC communication team for whatever reasons wanted all Ghanaians to believe that, we were experiencing the so called ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ and that life was better under President Mills than any other government in the country’s political history.

“This is sheer propaganda. Let President Mills be told that, you cannot govern a nation on propaganda. Ghanaians are sinking under the load of his numerous high taxes and unrivalled corruption,” he stressed.

Mr Ramadan cited some instances of corruption stating that there were promises in the “Better Ghana” agenda, social contract and the budgets from 2009-2011, which still remained an illusion, but the NDC found at the top of their scale of preference a $20million ultra-modern headquarters at Adabraka and purchase of 80 plots of land at Oyibi for their ideological school.

He said the $20 million would have been able to provide the needed relief to Ghanaians as petroleum subsidies for a year and four months.

Mr Ramadan said about GHc690 million had been lodged at Ecobank as a result of the illegal margins on petroleum products price-build –up.

He said the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) per an Accra High Court order was asked to reduce the prices of petroleum products, but rather went on to increase petroleum products from 15-30 per cent, adding that the amount which had been lodged at Ecobank could provide over 20 years of relief as subsidies on petroleum products to Ghanaians.
Mr Ramadan said another most bizarre and excruciating pain in the heart of Ghanaians was the Woyome-gate scandal.

He said in the history of Ghana, no corruption or scandal was closer to this financial thunder that hit Ghanaians last year, to the extent that, someone was paid GHc58 million without having any contract with the Government of Ghana.

Mr Ramadan said AFAG was therefore shocked by the directive of President Mills to Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate the issue instead of a public inquiry, which was right in line with the NDC’s political party intrinsic worth of extolling the principles of probity, accountability and transparency.

He asked “What will therefore, become of the investigations especially when EOCO is under the legal remit of the Attorney General’s Department and of which, in this case, the A-G is an interested party”.

Mr Ramadan noted that it was mind-boggling for AFAG in particular and Ghanaians at large to exonerate the Presidency out of the Woyome-gate scandal.

He said the Attorney-General was the principal legal advisor to the Government and government was not under any obligation or whatsoever to accept the AG’s advice hook, line and sinker but subjected to its own understanding, scrutiny, acceptance and rejection.

“It makes a logical sense that the Presidency is aware of this financial mess,” he added.

Mr Ramadan said AFAG’s interest was how the money could be returned to the Consolidated Fund with all those found culpable made to face the full rigours of the law.

Source: GNA

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