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#FixTheCountrt: Don’t deny youth their right to protest – Bagbin to govt

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has stressed the need for government to allow citizens to express their frustrations over poor living conditions through protests.

His admonition comes days after members of a social media movement, #FixTheCountry had to change their plans of demonstrating at the Independence Square after the Ghana Police Service secured an injunction against the protest.

In a message to mark Eid-ul-Fitr, Mr. Bagbin surmised that Ghana’s challenges will be tackled if the youth are allowed to hold those in power accountable through protests.

“I wish to commend the youth, both Muslims and Christians, who are demanding a lot more pragmatic measures from the leadership of our country to fix the numerous challenges that confront us at the moment. It is obvious that the majority of the concerns expressed by the Fix Ghana Movement have existed since our independence. However, it is also true that these challenges have become more pronounced in today’s Ghana.”

“Our country is failing, and we must work together in a peaceful approach to avoid recourse to violence. A peaceful approach includes acknowledging the rights of individuals to assemble and to demonstrate without any subterfuge calculated at denying the youth of that right. The youth seeking to protest are not misguided law-breakers. They are patriots and citizens; citizens in the sense that the President called for in his first inaugural address,” he added in a statement.

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The movement which was started two weeks ago has been mainly online, with thousands of Ghanaians voicing their frustrations with the Akufo-Addo government.

The group has cited dumsor, unemployment, poor healthcare systems as proof of successive governments’ mismanagement of the country.

Below is the statement from the Speaker

SPEAKER A.S.K. BAGBIN’S MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF EID- UL-FITR

On behalf of the Parliament of Ghana, I congratulate our Moslem fraternity on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr which is Thursday, May 13, 2021. I believe the period of fasting has helped strengthen and renew the faith of our brothers and sisters in Islam. I am persuaded that this renewal of faith will guide all of us to be tolerant of one another and to focus our energies on today’s pressing issues that will help us to fix this beloved country of ours.

It is with that in mind that I wish to commend the youth, both Moslems and Christians, who are demanding a lot more pragmatic measures from the leadership of our country to fix the numerous challenges that confront us at the moment.

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It is obvious that the majority of the concerns expressed by the Fix Ghana Movement have existed since our independence. However, it is also true that these challenges have become more pronounced in today’s Ghana.

Indeed, various governments in our history have attempted to fix these issues without success. The solutions to these problems would require all of us working in concert towards what we aspire to as a nation. They require constitutional changes, review of our institutions, systems, processes and procedures.

We can only tackle these challenges with a renewed commitment to the faith that we all profess to, be it Christianity, Islam or Traditional Religion. We can fix this country by reviewing our economic management paradigm that seems to over focus on borrowing. We need to interrogate the relevance of our educational system and make it more responsive to the demands of today. We must relook at the conduct of our politics and religion, and the extent to which they feed into, or detract from our national aspirations.

We require bold thinking on fighting corruption, on confronting galamsey, improving our public safety, delivering reasonable and affordable healthcare, creating jobs for our youth and restoring trust between the Ghanaian voter and the political elite. We require bold stance from our religious leaders on the issues that are holding this country back.

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Our country is failing and we must work together in a peaceful approach to avoid recourse to violence. A peaceful approach includes acknowledging the rights of individuals to assemble and to demonstrate without any subterfuge calculated at denying the youth of that right. The youth seeking to protest are not misguided law-breakers. They are patriots and citizens; citizens in the sense that the President called for in his first inaugural address.

On the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr, my message to them is this: We hear you, we stand with you and we will work with you to build the Ghana we all dream of – a nation that offers succour to all its citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs and political persuasions; a nation that lives up to its motto–Freedom and Justice!

Happy Eid-Ul-Fitr!

Long live Ghana.

Signed:

Rt. Hon. A. S. K. Bagbin,

Speaker of Parliament

—citinewsroom