As tens of thousands of people gather in central Cairo for a seventh day of protest, calling for a general strike against embattled President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for three decades, amidst calls on him to step down, a political heavyweight and Vice-Chair of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), is reportedly caught up in the political crisis.
Alhaji Said Sinare, a one-time Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ayawaso Central constituency in the Greater Accra Region, who personally confirmed being holed up in an interview on CitiFm’s Breakfast Show, described the situation in Cairo and other parts of Egypt, especially Alexandria, Mansoura, Damanhour and Suez as extremely volatile.
“….it’s in a chaos. I mean Egypt is in an upside down position. The situation is very bad. I am stranded here…….we all thought that the demonstration was going to be a peaceful one but it turn out that the protestors were burning houses….,”he added.
The former MP, whose mother is an Egyptian and speaks fluent Arabic, revealed that what had worsen the standoff in Egypt was the report that about 3,000 prisoners broke out of jail over the weekend.
With all flights cancelled for the meantime, Alhaji Said Sinare unfortunately has no hope of returning to Ghana, at least for now.
“it is not safe in Cairo at the moment. It is not safe at all,” he noted.
Son of the first Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces, the late Major Sinare, the NDC Vice-Chair is in Cairo visiting his sick grandmother.
The protests in Egypt come weeks after similar disturbances sparked a revolution in Tunisia, forcing then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country.
Both Egypt and Tunisia have seen dramatic rises in the cost of living in recent years and accusations of corruption among the ruling elite. Tunisia-inspired demonstrations have also taken place in Algeria, Yemen and Jordan.
The aging Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for three decades, and it was widely believed he was grooming his son, Gamal, as his successor — a plan now complicated by demands for democracy.
Mubarak appointed his trusted and powerful intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as his vice president on Saturday, the first time the authoritarian regime has had such a post. Suleiman is well respected by the military and is credited with crushing an Islamic insurgency in the 1990s, for which he earned the ear of Western intelligence officials thirsting for vital information about regional terrorist groups.
Commenting on the issue and on the same platform, Sekou Nkrumah, son of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President was of the opinion that the right thing is for Mr. Mubarak to step down and allow for change in the country since that seems to be the wish of most Egyptians.
“It is better he goes peacefully than to be forced out,” he added.
Sekou Nkrumah whose brother is also currently in Egypt said, “Egyptians seem to be tired of 30 years of military dictatorship under Mubarak; from 1981-2011…Egyptians are ready for the change,” adding that communicating with his brother has become impossible with internet accessibility also down in the country.