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'Hands Off Our Hotels' protesters present petition to presidency after clash with police

Leaders of the ‘Hands Off Our Hotels’ protest managed to present a petition to the presidency despite a clash with the police, who prevented them from marching to Jubilee House.

'Hands Off Our Hotels' protesters present petition to presidency after clash with police

Deputy Chief of Staff Emmanuel Adumoa Bossman, representing the presidency, received the petition from the protesters, promising to submit it to the President on Tuesday, 18 June 2024. He assured the protesters that their concerns, as captured in the petition, would be looked into and necessary measures taken to address them.

Moments before the petition was presented, the 'Hands Off Our Hotels' demonstration, led by lawmaker Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, turned violent as police officers prevented the protesters from proceeding to Jubilee House to present a petition to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The confrontation included the firing of tear gas and warning shots, resulting in some protesters collapsing and being rushed to hospital.

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SSNIT Hotels for Sale

Protesters gathered at Labadi Beach Hotel to demonstrate against the sale of four Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hotels to Rock City Hotel Limited. The hotels in question are the Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, and Busua Beach Resort.

The protest commenced at Labadi Beach Hotel and proceeded to Jubilee House, the government headquarters. Among the protesters' demands is an immediate cessation of the SSNIT hotels' sale by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

They argued that profitable state assets like Labadi Beach Hotel and Ridge Royal should never be sold without the consent of workers. The group asserted that these assets are more lucrative than Rock City Hotel, owned by Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong.

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In contrast, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has refuted any allegations of impropriety regarding its decision to sell a 60% stake in its hotels to Rock City Hotel. SSNIT explained that the strategy to partner with an investor to raise capital for hotel investments and assist in their management was initiated as early as 2018, following International Competitive Tendering (ICT) procedures mandated by the Public Procurement Act.

However, Ablakwa, who has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate, aims to halt the sale and draw attention to what he describes as "state capture."

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