Hundreds of opposition supporters marched through the streets of Ghana’s capital Accra on Tuesday morning, demonstrating against what they described as rising insecurity and lawlessness since President Nana Akufo-Addo came to power in 2017.
Wearing mostly red or black, the youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) danced through the streets with signs such as “You tweeted for George Floyd… Ghanaians have died, speak up!”.
Accompanied by the honking of motorcycles and music blasting from pick-up trucks, the group delivered a petition to the offices of the president and the speaker of parliament.
The marchers pointed to a string of high-profile killings across the country.
“The recent killings in the city have put fear in us. We are afraid to go out at night for fear of being killed,” said Kingsley Boateng, a 40-year-old mechanic.
“Ghana is for all of us. We must all be involved in its security and not government alone,” said Mohammed Abbass, a trader. The security situation required dialogue from all sides of the political divide, he added.
Akufo-Addo won a second term in December following a heated election that was marred by violence in which at least five people were killed, a rarity in a country that has a reputation as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.
On 29 June unidentified people beat to death a young civil rights activist in the city of Ejura, police told local media. Days later two people protesting against his death died, following clashes with security forces, police said.
“Those crusading for the country to be fixed have become enemies of your government as they are either being intimidated, harassed or killed,” the petition said.
Among its demands, the NDC said the president should “de-politicize the security services introducing reforms to give true meaning to (their) independence.”