Former President John Dramani Mahama has denied being financing the #FixTheCountry demonstration recently staged in Accra.
He has, therefore, described as an “absolute lie”, a claim by communicators of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) government that he sponsored the protest with ¢1.5 million.
The 2020 National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer expressed concerns about youth unemployment in the country when he addressed the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs on Tuesday while on a “Thank You” tour of the region.
He said youth unemployment was a major problem in Africa, citing recent agitations by youth in Nigeria to buttress his point.
“In Nigeria, they had the SASS movement – it was like a rebellion against police repression, but who are those who took part in the SASS movement? It was the unemployed youth. And the point is, let’s not think that if you are enriching yourself, you are safe.
“When the youth rise up, they think that everyone who is living a good life is one of the people oppressing them and that is why they cannot get jobs so if you are driving a nice car, they will break your glass and molest you”, he said.
Mr Mahama said such a situation should not be allowed to occur in Ghana.
Touching on the #FixTheCountry Movement in Ghana, he added that although the youth involved in the movement did not engage in acts of vandalism, government should not take their concerns for granted.
I haven’t given #FixTheCountry campaigners one single cedi – Mahama
John Mahama [right] and Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang [left] seated at House of Chiefs, Bolga
“And so, when government think that these young people; we must demonise them…it’s not because of NPP. It’s all of us. They are expressing dissatisfaction in our collective leadership, and the earlier we listen to them, dialogue with them, the better”, Mr Mahama said.
Mr Mahama denied claims that he sponsored activities of the #FixTheCountry movement.
“And the government communicators go and lie that I have given them [#FixTheCountry] £85,000 and I have given them ¢1.5 million for their demonstration. Absolute lie! Those old Machiavellian tactics don’t work. I haven’t given ‘fix it’ one single cedi”, he said.
Mr Mahama said he believed that the ruling government was only spreading those lies to create the impression that leaders of the #FixTheCountry Movement had collected money to detach the leadership from their followers.