Accra’s bustling streets have once again witnessed a mammoth protest led by the Minority Group in Parliament. This time, the reason for the demonstration was to demand the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, and his two deputies for superintending over an unprecedented loss of GHS 60 billion in the year 2022 and an allocation of US$250 million for its new headquarters under construction.
What is more surprising is that this allocation for the new headquarters took place in 2020, when the nation was brought to its knees by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The protesters deemed the new headquarters as a misplaced priority for a nation in an economic crisis, partly occasioned by the BoG’s decision to extend support to the government far more than the five percent as required by law.
The BoG supported the government, which many have seen as being wasteful, through the printing of more money allegedly without parliamentary approval.
The #OccupyBOG protest on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, witnessed a display of emotions with placards bearing poignant messages, and voices raised in unison, demanding accountability from the Central Bank.
The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson’s words struck a chord with the crowd as he accused Governor Addison of jeopardising Ghana’s economic stability.
“You printed money to finance the government’s champagne lifestyle! Step aside, Governor,” Dr Forson demanded.
‘’Addison must Go!’’, ”Create jobs for the Youth, not your children,’’ ’’Kill inflation not voters’’ and “Stop printing money to finance the wasteful lifestyle of Akufo-Addo’’ were some of the inscriptions on the placards captured through the lens of The Fourth Estate’s Clement Edward Kumsah.
BoG Governor, deputies snub protesters
After the nine-hour-long protest, the leaders of the demonstration got agitated and felt ‘disrespected’ when the Governor of the Central Bank and his two deputies did not show up to receive the petition from the protesters.
North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the failure of the BoG Governor, Dr Addison, to receive the petition from the #OccupyBOG protesters was an affront to Parliament.
Kwame Asare Boateng, the Director of Security at the BoG, showed up to receive the petition with the excuse that the Governor and his deputies were in a meeting with officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“We were informed that you were coming to present a petition to the Governor but the three governors are currently meeting the IMF and there is nobody there,” he told leaders of the protest.
“So, the Governor has asked that I meet you and take the petition,” he added.
The Minority Leader, Dr Forson, who felt “disrespected” by the gesture, said, “Unfortunately, he (Governor) has decided to disrespect us and the two deputies have also decided to disrespect us.”
“We will come back,” he said.
And “until we see him, we are not stopping. This is just the beginning,” Dr Forson warned.