Nana Addo, Kwaku Baako, Kwesi Pratt, and Co. celebrate “Kume Preko” demo anniversary
“Kume Preko” demo anniversary: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his “Kume preko” compatriots exchange pleasantries to mark the 25th anniversary of the “Kumepreko” demonstration.
Most youngsters were not born when lawyer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo together with some outspoken politicians and journalists led over 100,000 Ghanaians to the revolution of 1995 – also known as ‘KUME PREKO’ – to wit, ‘you may as well kill me’
That was a rare protest against the Jerry John Rawlings administration in the city of Accra on May 11, 1995, as hundreds of young and old people, responding to calls for demonstrations against government corruption and hardship, chanted war songs amid “Kume Preko”.
Those at the forefront of this protest were Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Now the President of Ghana), Dr. Charles Wreko Brobbey (Politician), Kwasi Pratt Jnr (Journalist), Dr. Nayarko Tamakloe (Politicians), Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako (Journalist), Akoto Ampaw (Politician), Victor Newman (Politician), Kwaku Opoku (Politician), Napoleon Abdulai (Politician) and Agyeri Blankson (Politician).
What Led To The Uprising?
Jerry John Rawlings who came to power in a 1992 military takeover, had cemented his hold through harsh repression that has silenced critics, curtailed free speech, and ended any semblance of democratic politics. Even the mildest dissent has been met with harsh punishments and long prison sentences.
Also, the high cost of living and particularly, the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on items by Mr. Rawlings fueled the demonstration against the administration.
Major news outlets then reported that it was a period in which able-bodied and hardworking citizens could not afford one decent meal a day for a family.
Also, the drop-out rate in educational institutions was said to be rising at a very alarming rate.
The Bloody Kume Preko Day
However, what started as a peaceful protest turned gory when some unidentified assailants opened fire on the demonstrators.
Many sustained severe injuries and others died from the attacks but all leaders managed to escaped the horror scene.
After Kume Proko
In the aftermath of the demonstration, some of the leading protestors – Nana Akufo-Addo, Charles Wereko-Brobby, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Akoto Ampaw, and Napoleon Abdulai wrote a book titled – “Ghana: The Kume Preko demonstrations: Poverty, Corruption and the Rawlings Dictatorship”.
The Re-Union Of The Masterminds
Exactly 25 years ago, six (6) of the architects of the biggest demonstration to have occurred in Ghana’s history have met at the private residence of Mr. Agyeri Blankson at 3rd Circular Road, Cantonments.
The meeting was to commemorate their past achievement in ensuring fairness for the people under the military leadership of Mr. Jerry John Rawlings and also to remember lives that were lost during the demonstration.
Amid the Coronavirus, the Kume Preko leaders were all in their facemasks during their private meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo fully relaxed among his old friends without any official bodyguard.