Pressure Group, Economic Fighters League has also declined to join the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) protest against the Electronic Transfer Levy also known as E-levy.
The group explained that its decision to abstain from the demonstration is hinged on the NDC’s refusal to resist the controversial tax from the onset.
“The lacklustre, flip-flopping, deal-cutting NDC MPs in Parliament are the reason the preposterous e-levy remains on the table. If those MPs had rejected Ofori-Atta at his vetting, we wouldn’t be discussing E-levy today. If their 137 MPs had moved decisively against the E-levy from the start, we would not be standing where we are today,” a portion of the statement said.
The protest, which is being organised by the youth wing of the NDC, is aimed at putting pressure on the government to rescind its ‘desperate’ efforts on the e-levy.
Ahead of the demonstration scheduled for Thursday, February 10, 2022, the NDC youth wing extended invitations to pressure groups including the #Fixthecountry movement and the Economic Fighters League.
However, both groups have declined to join the protest.
The Economic Fighters League believes although the demonstration will “send a message to NDC parliamentarians” their participation will be insignificant.
“The original mandate of #FixTheCountry as defined by the people was not to fight to bring the NDC back to power. It was to demand that the NPP radically improve governance, starting from the 1992 Constitution. Deep down, we knew they wouldn’t be moved. And we knew that the opposing NDC would not be moved either. This is why the real objective had to be to constitute the countervailing force that completely displaces the NDC/NPP duopoly.”
Below is the statement from the group
This morning NDC National Youth Organiser, George Opare Addo contacted me regarding the upcoming E-Levy demo organised by the NDC. He told me that the NDC had decided to take a step back from the demo in favour of getting a civil society coalition to lead, and asked if the Economic Fighters League would be willing to be listed as one of the organisations.
In our conversation I told him that the lacklustre, flip flopping, deal cutting NDC MPs in parliament are the reason the preposterous E-Levy remains on the table. If those MPs had rejected Ofori Atta at his vetting we wouldn’t be discussing E-Levy today. If their 137 MPs had moved decisively against the E-Levy from the start, we would not be standing where we are today.
I also told him that I see nothing wrong with the NDC Youth Wing leading a demonstration at this point because it will send a message to their parliamentarians who are yet to truthfully reflect and defend the will of the people.
Our conversation was reminiscent of so many conversations that must have been had in the past, between the political establishment and pressure groups, such as OccupyGhana and the CJA. Groups that, after engaging the establishment, diminished in strength, reduced to selective social commentators.
Our recent history is rich in examples of how political pressure groups become dormant after a dominant period, proving that pressure groups alone are not enough to demand accountable governance from Ghana’s two greatest problems, the NPP and the NDC.
We can talk about the temporal and successful fears these pressure groups brought to the political establishment, but can not do that without analysing the sad fact that in the end, that pressure amounted to little more than a pendulum swing of power between brothers.
The lesson should be obvious to us by now; applying pressure without an electoral challenge no longer scares the political establishment.
In fact to do so only serves to oil the NPP/NDC pendulum. It only recycles them, kicking out one and reintroducing in the other. That pendulum keeps swinging back and forth, always to the disadvantage of the people.
This is not just about the NDC and the NPP – their prevailing attitude conforms to the rules of power. They will do whatever they like until they see a countervailing force. Electoral power respects electoral power. Until then, they simply do not care.
The original mandate of #FixTheCountry
as defined by the people was not to fight to bring the NDC back to power. It was to demand that the NPP radically improve governance, starting from the 1992 Constitution. Deep down, we knew they wouldn’t be moved. And we knew that the opposing NDC would not be moved either. This is why the real objective had to be to constitute the countervailing force that completely displaces the NDC/NPP duopoly.
Go back to the August 4th demonstration. Watch the videos and listen to the voices; the overwhelming verdict is summed up in the following words: “We are tired of NPP and NDC.” The cue given then was to escalate liberation efforts to the next level, offering a multidimensional strategy. The clear mandate was to fight both in the streets and in the seats of governance, giving the People’s voice a platform for reclamation – a different fate from that suffered by earlier movements like CJA and OccupyGhana which, in the end, only served to prop up the NDC and NPP respectively.
The NDC is not a minority in this parliament. They have 137 seats to NPP’s 137, and a Speaker from their side. As things stand, no bill can go through Parliament if the NDC genuinely does not want it to pass. Their empty barks of ‘resistance’ are for your benefit, so that when they align themselves with their sister NPP they can shrug their shoulders and pretend they tried.
Real opposition is what is needed right now. NDC is not it. It isn’t even about numbers – a sole voice of integrity in a rotten parliament can shake that institution to the core. While the People mobilise for change in the streets, there must be a representative of their voice ready to reclaim the state. It should not take a man being manhandled and arrested in parliament before the voice of the People reaches the floor of Parliament, as was the case with #DropThatChamber
. A serious opposition is what we need. This is why Fighters announced the formation of a coalition to contest for Parliament in 2024.
But a lot will depend on our collective power of imagination. Without the power to imagine we are incapable of liberating ourselves. Many of those who fight us do so because they cannot imagine an alternative that prioritises them.
Imagine five truly independent minded Ghanaians
fighting for you on the floor of Parliament. Imagine your voice being heard. Imagine a reclamation of power for the People of Ghana.
Go further. Imagine yourself in Parliament. Imagine the voices that most represent your reality and your needs in parliament. Is it Avram Ben Moshe? Felicity, Barker, Afrifa, Nana Shady?
Just imagine. You can build that real alternative. My People, have no fear!