There is no gainsaying the fact that Ghana has enjoyed a relative peace since 1992 when the country chose the democratic path as a means of vehicle to run her affairs.
It is therefore not a surprise that Ghana today is regarded on the continent as the beacon of democracy. However, its 28 years journey has not been without some failures and disappointments on the part of the ruled.
In the recent past many Ghanaians have shown their displeasure over the general outlook of the country’s economy.
The latest to hit the current administration was the social media campaign which started last week with a call on the government to fix the country.
The campaign, coded, #FixTheCountry has since gathered momentum with many Ghanaians from all walks of life joining the campaign including celebrities, social commentators and politicians , Today can report.
Likening it to the Arab Spring, some political pundits including security experts have warned the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government not to treat the call on the government to fix the country lightly.
“This campaign is somehow similar to what started in Tunisia in 2010 so I will advise the government to listen to the call of the people and address their issues before things get out of hand”.
“We should not sit down and allow it to reach a stage where we cannot do anything to control it”, Colonel (rtd) Festus Aboagye, a security expert told Today.
The Arab Spring Example
The Arab Spring was a series of pro-democracy uprisings that enveloped several largely Muslim countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain. The events in these nations generally began in the spring of 2011, which led to the name.
The Arab Spring began in December 2010 when Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest the arbitrary seizing of his vegetable stand by police over failure to obtain a permit.
Bouazizi’s sacrificial act served as a catalyst for the so-called Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia.
The street protests that ensued in Tunis, the country’s capital, eventually prompted authoritarian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to abdicate his position and flee to Saudi Arabia. He had ruled the country with an iron fist for more than 20 years.
However, in the case of Ghana some unhappy Ghanaians are venting their spleens over what many describe as a failure on the part of successive governments to improve the lives of the citizenry.
Mostly made up of the youth, tens of thousands of posts since last week have been made on social media highlighting some of these inadequacies.
Despite efforts by government including the Nation Builders’ Corp (NABCO), National Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and other commitments towards investing in the growing human capital, some social media users who spoke with Today in an interview at the weekend said, the impact was not felt on the ground.
“ Akufo-Addo’s government always says, it has done this, it has done that, but we are not feeling the impact. The dividends from what they have done must show so that we all can benefit”, a businessman who gave his name as Nana Boahene said.
Dominant in the sentiments shared on Twitter were rising youth unemployment, dilapidated health system, skyrocketing home-renting structure, poor road networks among others.
“This is the right time for us to stand up and come together as one people to speak and let them [government] know that we are tired,” Joshua Boye-Doe, a social media user and initiator of the #FixTheCountry campaign posted.
Coupled with corruption, erratic power and water supply, the social media users said the development had compounded their challenges and made life difficult for them, hence the need for the ruling government to the fix the country.
Vice President Bawumia’s reponse
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who felt more hit by the campaign because of his position as the head of the government’s economic management team took to his Facebook and responded to some of the issues raised by the campaigners.
Writing under the headline: “OUR RECORD OF FIXING PROBLEMS”, he said, we are four months into our four year mandate. The job of government is to fix problems.
This is what we have been doing since 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the global economy and caused increases in prices of commodities such as oil, cement and iron rods as well as overall cost of shipping. Nevertheless, it is very important to place the performance of our government over the last four years after inheriting an economy with “no meat on the bone” on record.
Ours is a government that listens and cares. The facts and data speak for themselves.