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Lessons from #OccupyFlagstaffHouse: Are 2 million Ghanaians going to march in 9 days?

The political class in Ghana has another #OccupyGhana situation brewing and the eventual demonstration is slated for July 13. In nine (9) days, ordinary Ghanaians will take to the streets in what has been dubbed #2MillionGhanaiansMarch. The march is in protest to plans by the legislative arm of government to put up a new chamber at a cost of $200m, $40m of which is to be sourced from China.

Ghanaians have been livid about the development and are threatening to vote out MPs who support the building of the new chamber.

In 2014, a group of social media savvy Ghanaians launched what has come to be a permanent pressure group, OccupyGhana. OccupyGhana started as a non-partisan group known as The Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance. Their stated objective was to protest to have the government of John Dramani Mahama solve the problems that resulted in what they called a worsening economic condition and endemic political corruption. The group’s first event was a demonstration like the #2MillionGhanaiansMarch dubbed #OccupyFlagstaffHouse.

After the #OccupyFlagstaffHouse Demo, government officials made fun of their numbers and essentially wrote them off as a bunch of over-pampered middle-class Ghanaians who thought they knew better than everyone else. Election 2016 proved that when those who are supposed to be better-off complain, the situation of those downtrodden is probably worse.

NDC’s 2016 loss has not taught the current government any lessons about the middle class. They are massing up on social media again and all we hear from leading figures in the NPP are justifications for a new parliament house.

It will be in the best interest of the NPP to back away from the chamber and sort out the issues to do with infrastructure, healthcare and education which are the running themes in the threads the #2MillionGhanaiansMarch is generating on Twitter.

The number that turns up on Saturday, July 13 won’t matter. It will be proof in the minds of voters that the political class does not care and that will be all it will take for people to make up their minds.

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