The Economic Fighters League (Fighters) has scheduled a march to the parliament of Ghana Today Friday, 5 July 2019, to register its displeasure at a proposed 450-seat chamber for the legislature.
Social media – Facebook and Twitter – have been awash with harsh criticism against the Ghanaian parliament and its leadership in connection with the new proposed chamber.
The decision to build a new chamber has been met with intense opposition from Ghanaians as well as civil society groups.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Economic Fighters League (EFL), Mr Ernesto Yeboah, told ClassFMonline.com that: “We are going in our normal attire and dressed decently. If we are allowed to enter parliament, into the public gallery that’s fine. If we are not allowed and blocked at the gate, we’ll stage our protest there. Whatever it is we want to send our message to them”.
The group has also joined in the organisation of another demonstration scheduled on Saturday, 13 July 2019 which will involve a march through the principal streets of Accra pending approval from the Ghana Police Service.
Some lawmakers, especially from the Minority side, like the MP for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu; and Tamale North MP Alhassan Suhuyini, have described the move as needless.
Also, some lawmakers from the Majority side, including Samuel Ayeh-Paye, Ayensuano; and Mr Patrick Boamah, Okaikwei Central, have also said a new chamber is not necessary for now.
However, the Majority Leader of Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who has been vocal in justifying the need for a new chamber, told Accra-based Citi TV on Wednesday that: “Parliament, since independence, is that one arm of government that has not had a purpose-fit facility built for it, so, this is not a decision we are making today”.
He argued: “The reason the Board is considering this is because of the myriad challenges confronting the current chamber”.
The Fighters, in a statement, have also charged all Ghanaians opposing the decision to “join the national resistance movement to end the impunity and nonsense of the political establishment now”.
In their opinion “the announcement of plans to build a new Parliamentary Chamber has exposed the insensitivity of the political establishment to the plight of Ghanaians. It also shows their blatant lack of prioritisation of the needs of the people.
“At a time that many Ghanaians are struggling to survive, businesses are collapsing, unemployment is increasing, and hardship is rife, it is baffling that a new Chamber estimated to cost almost 200 million dollars is being considered”.
Read the full statement of the Fighters:
JOIN PROTESTS AGAINST NEW WASTEFUL PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER
Following the announcement to storm Parliament this Friday, July 5, it has come to the attention of the War Council of the Economic Fighters League (Fighters) that other groups and individuals are organising similar protests in respect of the building of a new Parliamentary chamber. We welcome this development as a positive indication of the genuine public outrage at the political establishment.
We call on all Fighters to join the national resistance movement to end the impunity and nonsense of the political establishment now.
All Fighters are hereby instructed to circulate widely all publicity materials of any group or individuals aimed at halting the 450-seater capacity chamber project.
Fighters are further directed to show up at all such events in order to give it the revolutionary push needed to carry through our demands.
The announcement of plans to build a new Parliamentary Chamber has exposed the insensitivity of the political establishment to the plight of Ghanaians. It also shows their blatant lack of prioritisation of the needs of the people.
At a time that many Ghanaians are struggling to survive, businesses are collapsing, unemployment is increasing, and hardship is rife, it is baffling that a new Chamber estimated to cost almost 200 million dollars is being considered.
We are happy about the outpouring of dissatisfaction and anger against this decision. But let’s not stop there. Let’s show up to join all protests being planned against the move.
It is the only way this wastefulness will stop. And we must not relent until the plan is abandoned. In all these, remember that your silence and inactions embolden the political establishment to perpetuate economic violence against the people. Be Fighters and let’s hold government accountable.
Commander in Chief