Former President John Dramani Mahama has denied being financing the #FixTheCountry demonstration recently staged in Accra.
He has, therefore, described as an â€œabsolute lieâ€, a claim by communicators of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) government that he sponsored the protest with Â¢1.5 million.
The 2020 National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer expressed concerns about youth unemployment in the country when he addressed the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs on Tuesday while on a â€œThank Youâ€ tour of the region.
He said youth unemployment was a major problem in Africa, citing recent agitations by youth in Nigeria to buttress his point.
â€œIn Nigeria, they had the SASS movement â€“ it was like a rebellion against police repression, but who are those who took part in the SASS movement? It was the unemployed youth. And the point is, letâ€™s not think that if you are enriching yourself, you are safe.
â€œWhen the youth rise up, they think that everyone who is living a good life is one of the people oppressing them and that is why they cannot get jobs so if you are driving a nice car, they will break your glass and molest youâ€, he said.
Mr Mahama said such a situation should not be allowed to occur in Ghana.
Touching on the #FixTheCountry Movement in Ghana, he added that although the youth involved in the movement did not engage in acts of vandalism, government should not take their concerns for granted.
I havenâ€™t given #FixTheCountry campaigners one single cedi – Mahama
John Mahama [right] and Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang [left] seated at House of Chiefs, Bolga
â€œAnd so, when government think that these young people; we must demonise themâ€¦itâ€™s not because of NPP. Itâ€™s all of us. They are expressing dissatisfaction in our collective leadership, and the earlier we listen to them, dialogue with them, the betterâ€, Mr Mahama said.
Mr Mahama denied claims that he sponsored activities of the #FixTheCountry movement.
â€œAnd the government communicators go and lie that I have given them [#FixTheCountry] Â£85,000 and I have given them Â¢1.5 million for their demonstration. Absolute lie! Those old Machiavellian tactics donâ€™t work. I havenâ€™t given â€˜fix itâ€™ one single cediâ€, he said.
Mr Mahama said he believed that the ruling government was only spreading those lies to create the impression that leaders of the #FixTheCountry Movement had collected money to detach the leadership from their followers.