THREE leading members of the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) have stated that the committee has made modest gains in the recent “wahala” demonstrations as they have put the ruling NPP government on its toes.
The members, Mr Bede Ziedeng, the acting General Secretary of the NDC, his deputy, Mr Baba Jamal and Mr Bennard Mornah, the National Organiser of the PNC, who were speaking to the Graphic in Sunyani at the weekend, said one of the greatest achievements of the demonstrations was the suspension of the upward adjustment of the utility tariffs by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
According to Mr Ziedeng, the postponement of the Kumasi “wahala” demonstration by the Ashanti Regional Police Command was an attempt by the government to cut down on its losses as part of the fallout of the Asawase by-election.
He alleged that the government felt that if the demonstration was allowed to take place in Kumasi as originally planned, it would have compounded the problems coming on the heels of the NPP's defeat at the Asawase by-election and the ill-feeling and confusion generated from its recent decongestion exercises in Accra and Kumasi.
“As the CJA is a democratic group which has decided to go according to the laws of the land, we have accepted the new date of May 26, 2005 given by the police for the Kumasi demonstration”, he said.
“We are undaunted; Wahala will definitely come off in Kumasi. Whether today, tomorrow or May 26, the effect of the demonstration will even be greater than what the government had anticipated”, Mr. Ziedeng said.
Mr Ziedeng expressed the opinion that as the Kumasi police themselves had determined a date for the demonstration that was convenient to them, they should strive to provide the necessary security and ensure that no other group, whatever name it might call itself was allowed to disturb the demonstration.
On his part, Mr Mornah stressed that the preparations had been completed for the “Wahala” demonstration to take place on May 26 in Kumasi and nobody could stop it.
He said but for the CJA's intervention through the wahala demonstrations in Accra, Ho and Wa, as well as a series of press conferences and press statements, the PURC would have increased electricity and water tariffs by between five and 7.5 per cent.