Opposition parties comprising the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), the Peoples National Convention (PNC), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) and the All Peoples Congress (APC), have formed a coalition to carry out a massive protest tagged Di Miiya at the Northern Regional capital, Tamale today August 22nd.
The Di Miiya Demo is not an impromptu event but has been brewing for some weeks now. But the fact that they have chosen to carry out the protest today, despite the fact that President Mahama has scheduled to kick-start his Northern Region campaign tour in the region same day, makes it appear they deliberately want to disrupt activities.
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The police had earlier on written to the coalition to post-pone the planned protest owing to the President’s visit, but they had refused to heed the instruction on the grounds that they have invested heavily on the demo, and will not be able to shift it to a future date.
Speaking to Pulse.com.gh, NPP’s spokesperson for the Northern Regional Secretary, Saaka Alhassan explained that the notice to cancel the protest which came from the police on Friday is rather too short and therefore not feasible, considering all the logistics already put in place ahead of the protest. According to him, they have also written the police explaining reasons why the demo must hold.
“Di Miiya” which literally means “Times are Tough” is specifically staged to drive home the people’s grievances over high utility tariffs in the country. According to the protesters, the situation is adversely affecting the lives of the people are they are fed up. they however, promised to make it a non-violent protest. A broad banner being displayed by the angry crowd reads “Mahama, the North says enough is enough”.
Hundreds of residents in red and black are seen on the roads displaying placards with inscriptions such as; ‘Mahama is wicked’, ‘JM Must Go’, ‘Killer Tariff’, ‘We Need Change’, ‘Mahama is Incompetent’, ‘Tamale Teaching Hospital is Death Trap’, and so on.
Lamenting the hard times being faced by people in the northern region, Northern Regional Secretary of the NPP, Sule Salifu complained that the President is unconcerned about the plight of the residents who are finding it very difficult to afford just a meal per day.
However, latest reports reveal that the President has knowingly decided to avert the seemingly deliberate intention by his detractors to destabilize his movements. Instead of hitting Tamale today amidst the protests, the President would first pay a courtesy visit to the newly installed Kpembewura in the Salaga south district.