In recent days, the Ghanaian capital, Accra, has witnessed protests calling for the resignation of President Nana Akufo-Addo. Last Thursday, around fifty individuals were arrested during a march towards the presidential palace, with Amnesty International denouncing police brutality. This Monday, the organizer of the movement, #OccupyJulorbiHouse, issued a fresh call for protests in December, and another group plans to make its voice heard next Tuesday.
“Better governance and an end to corruption” are the demands of the demonstrators. In 2021, they rallied under the hashtags #FixtheCountry or #Reparezlepays. Today, they have coined a new phrase: #OccupyJulorbiHouse, a play on words combining the name of the presidential palace, Jubilee House, with “Julorbi,” which means “thief” in the local language.
This is a way to denounce the recurring scandals plaguing the government, according to Oliver Barker-Vormawor, the organizer of the mobilization: “The president has earned a reputation for exonerating several officials accused of corruption, and he has made statements that have compromised several investigations into allegations of malfeasance. The phrase #OccupyJulorbiHouse also alludes to the economic and social crisis we are facing. Surveys show that many Ghanaians aspire to a change in government,” he explains.
In response to the protests, a member of the ruling NPP party declared on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, September 24th, that the government inherited a shattered economy. An argument that does not entirely convince Bernard Mornah, organizer of another citizen movement, #AriseGhana. “The NPP has been in power for seven years, and they still want to attribute the responsibility for their failures to the previous government. Today, young people cannot find employment, while those appointed by President Akufo-Addo are hiding millions in their homes. Did the previous regime allow senior officials appointed by President Akufo-Addo to embezzle money? This government is not fit to lead this nation,” he rebukes.
The AriseGhana movement is particularly calling for the resignation of the central bank governor, citing mismanagement of the national economy. The movement plans to march through the streets of Accra next Tuesday.