The courts, some schools and offices in Kumasi, the nation’s second largest city, were deserted as hundreds of workers responded to the call by the leadership of organized labour to hit the streets in protest against recent utility tariff increases and the energy sector levies.
Dressed in red and black - signifying their angry mood, they held placards carrying messages like “Government is about people – why this hardship”, “We are ready to exit you this year”, “Reduce water and electricity prices”, “Salary increment = 10 per cent, tariff increase 57 per cent, what kind of mathematics is this”, “Where is social democracy – Mr. President” and “Reduce fuel prices to avoid the wrath of Ghanaians” “We will not wait for the higher tariffs to kill us” “We are suffocating”.
As the protesters snail through the principal streets of the metropolis amid blowing of vuvuzelas and chanting of slogans, their numbers kept swelling.
Some traders and market women at the Business District also joined to show solidarity.
It was quite a scene, when they got to the main office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) at Adum – like an automation, everybody put their hands on the heads, began wailing and sat on ground for some minutes.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti Regional Commander, was on hand, to supervise security protection for the protesting workers and make sure that nothing went wrong.
The over three-hour demonstration which started at 0920 hours, from the Jubilee Park and ended at the Centre for National Culture, passed off without incident.
The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Kofi Asamoah, in a message, said the demonstration was intended to bring home to government in a more forceful manner, the difficulties and desperate social economic conditions created by the utility tariff hike and the new taxes on petroleum products.
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