16.03.2005 General News

Counter demo against "Wahala" marches

16.03.2005 LISTEN

Accra, March 16, GNA - A group called the Coalition of Democratic Forces (CDF) on Wednesday stated its intention to stage peaceful demonstrations to counter the "Wahala" demonstrations against the hike in fuel prices and general cost of living.

No date has been fixed for the demonstrations to be called "Hankuri March for Peace" which, the Group said, would go along with forums to explain to the people of Ghana the choices they faced in the first half of the 21st century.

Group Captain (rtd) Thomas Theophilus Kutin, Spokesperson for the Group, which later identified itself as the Peacekeepers International, made the announcement at a press conference in Accra.

The Group claimed that former President Jerry Rawlings and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) were the masterminds of the "Wahala" Demonstrations.

"The attempt to disguise this purely NDC strategy of undermining the government of Ghana as a joint action of the opposition does not wash. It was mooted, planned and is being sponsored by (Former President) Jerry John Rawlings...."

The CDF stated that to the best of its knowledge the new prices were debated openly with a great deal of consultation between the government and other stakeholders before they were announced. The CDF stated that it believed the government would keep its word and process its vouchers speedily for state sector workers to enjoy their top-ups at the end of the month.

Testy scenes marked the conference, when journalists quizzed the spokespersons of the real identity of the Group, if it were a propaganda tool of the NPP or a disgruntled group of people sponsored by the government to counter the "Wahala" demonstrations.

Both Group Captain Kutin and Ex-Chief Inspector Alhaji Mohammed Alidu, co-spokesperson of the Group, maintained that the Group was neither an offshoot of the NPP nor was it receiving any sponsorship from it.

Ex-Chief Inspector Alidu claimed that a statement attributed to former President Rawlings that Ghanaians could not wait till 2008 before changing the Government was an indication of plans of toppling the government.

Calling Mr Kwesi Pratt (Jnr), Managing Editor of the Insight, an "agent of demonstrators", he alleged that former President Rawlings was using Mr Pratt as his "newfound rabble-rouser" to cause mayhem. Other Executive Members of the Group were Lt. Col. John Lucas Abito of the Democratic Alliance and Mr K. A. Brempong, Director of the Super Paper Products Company.

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