E-levy: NDC, CSOs, other political parties stage demo Thursday
Ghana’s biggest opposition party NDC, Civil Society Organisations, other political parties and concerned citizens are joining forces to stage demontration against controversial 1.75% e-levy Thursday.
The process to pass the E-levy Bill into law under the certificate of urgency by Ghana’s Parliament resulted in chaotic scenes after First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu presiding attempted to bend the rules and vote.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra-Ghana on Monday 7 February 2022, National Youth Organiser of NDC Lawyer George Opare Addo said “Ghaianans can’t be forced to clean the economic mess caused by Akufo-Addo Bawumia government. Thursday 7am, February 10, 2022, We’ll protest whilst protecting lives and property. Where are the men they promised they have? “.
Meanwhile, Former PNC National Chairman and Convener of Justice for Ghana Bernard Monah says “Government must put the well-being of Ghanaians first when taking actions. E-levy is thievery. This is not NDC affair. Yentua Demo will come on”.
Below is the full statement:
PRESS CONFERENCE BY COALITION OF POLITICAL PARTIES, CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND IDENTIFIABLE GROUPS ON YENTUA DEMO SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2022.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press. I welcome you all to today’s press briefing at this critical and challenging times that our dear Country finds itself, courtesy the maladministration of the Akufo Addo/ Bawumia-led New Patriotic Party government.
To the many Ghanaians watching and listening to us via the various media channels, I crave your indulgence to spare us some moments of your precious time to join us trumpet the need to save our beloved country from this incompetent and reckless government.
Young people have lost hope in our Republic and rightly so due to the recklessness of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration.
Ladies and gentlemen, on Thursday, February 3, 2022, the National Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, notified the Police to stage a demonstration dubbed ‘Yentua Demonstration’ on Thursday, February 10, 2022 in Accra as the beginner of a nationwide protest to be staged across the country.
The rationale behind the demonstration is to amongst other things:
- give backing to the Members of the Minority Group in Parliament, who are fighting at the peril of their lives to stop the Akufo Addo/Bawumia administration from foisting its unpopular E-levy tax down our throats,
- demand that the pain of university students at the mercy of the UTAG strike comes to an end,
- the gratuities of NABCO trainees and other outstanding arrears owed young people on various government platforms are paid immediately,
4 the weak cedi is strengthened and
- nuisance taxes on petroleum products rescinded.
The objective is to stand in for the citizens of this country who may not have the courage to man up to the intimidation tactics of this government and demand that the Akufo Addo/Bawumia administration free Ghanaians from the bondage of economic deprivation.
Government must immediately honour its obligations to university teachers so they return to the lecture halls. Government should urgently pay NABCO beneficiaries who are painfully depressed by the insensitivity of this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration.
We also demand that the Price Stabilisation and recovery levy be suspended without fail and the irrelevant sanitation and pollution levy all added to the petroleum price build-up be cancelled.
The Ghanaian people have responded overwhelmingly to our call for protest.
As a result of this, ladies and gentlemen, leadership of other political parties, civil society organizations, identifiable groups and Ghanaians of all walks of life have called to join us stage this demonstration.
In the spirit of giving Ghanaians who have voluntarily showed support for the ‘Yentua Demonstration’, we thought it prudent that there was the need to join the NDC’s efforts to the broader movement in order to provide the space for everyone in this struggle.
In view of our great effort to broaden our coalition against this insensitive government, and build a true umbrella of all persons and groups against the mess of this Akufo-Addo government, we are throwing our full support behind the non-partisan coalition.
Instead of the NDC staging the demo, we now have an amalgamation of political parties, CSOs, other identifiable groups etc coming together under the cloak of the Coalition of Concerned Ghanaians to stage the ‘Yentua Demonstration’.
As you can see, we have representatives of all the groups here to throw their weight behind the demonstration.
We pay glowing tribute to our Comrades from the Justice For Ghana Movement, who have for the past two weeks picketed Parliament after their earler demonstration against the E-LEVY just before Parliament went on recess. Theirs is an example of sacrifice unmatched.
We entreat all Ghanaians to join them in Occupying Parliament House until the E-LEVY is rejected.
In the history of our independence struggle, it took the initiative of an individual to draw others to the table to fight for our freedom. The NDC and its Youth Wing is doing same in this moment of history.
The coming together of these groups takes the form and shape of how the struggle for independence started.
Ladies and gentlemen, our country in recent times is rolling back on its progress. Times are hard for young people and families alike.
We have an ever increasing public debt, worsening economic conditions, bad governance, rising youth unemployment, corruption, poverty, the use of State security to intimidate citizens, State capture through corrupt deals and other debilitating and provocative happenings.
President Akufo Addo has not been able to deal with these vices being superintended by him to set good examples for his own appointees.
It is no longer news to see energetic young men and women of our Country idling without a job. It is almost becoming painfully acceptable to see families struggling to afford a square meal a day. Ghanaians are being coerced to accept that they must give out their little earnings to appointees of the Akufo Addo/Bawumia government to live a luxurious and ostentatious lifestyle.
In the midst of all these, there is no conscionable person in this government to counsel the President and his Cabinet that they must sacrifice by cutting down their profligate spending and bring economic respite for the poor people across the country who live in strenuous conditions.
Instead, those living large at the expense of ordinary Ghanaians are battle ready to extort more from them .
No leader who has the interest of his people at heart, will seek to impose a 1.75%, soon to be a 1.5% levy on the savings of the already suffering people.
This is NOT a TAX – It is Plain thievery in the league of the PDS scandal and the likes.
Already, Ghanaians are saddled with many taxes resulting in the increase in petroleum products, high tariffs, increase in prices of goods and service, increase in the cost of living etc. Even when Ghanaians have almost unanimously kicked against the introduction of the obnoxious e-levy, the Akufo Addo/Bawumia administration is bent on using all means possible to force it down their throats.
The President and his spokesmen have given comic reasons why there is the need to impose the levy. The only reasons why this government is doing everything possible to impose the levy is that Ghana is not credit worthy hence it can no longer borrow or raise bonds on the international market.
The Akufo Addo/Bawumia administration is in bad need of this levy not to do things they claim they would use it for, but principally to finance his expensive globetrotting expeditions.
At a time University students are lazing on campuses because lecturers are on strike, this government is only interested in passing an e-levy. All of a sudden, the economic prowess of the so-called fantastic economic management team has fizzled out such that e-levy has become the savior.
Ghanaians cannot be milked to clear the economic mess of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
E-levy is a no brainer to economic recovery and we insist that Yentua!
To this end, we call on all Ghanaians, including NPP members feeling the pinch, to join our Coalition on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at Obra Sport at 7:00am to demonstrate our revulsion to this government. All security arrangements have been put in place and as such we can guarantee the safety of everybody.
George Opare Addo, Esq
National Youth Organizer,
National Democratic Congress.