Dr. Smart Sarpong, a Senior Research Fellow of the Kumasi Technical University, has advised Ghana Police and the relevant security agencies not to take the June 4 demonstration for granted as the letter written by the organizers is of grave concern to Ghanaians.
The organizers of the demonstration, Captain Smart, Okatakyie Afrifa and the FixtheCountry Movement leader, Oliver Baker-Vormawor expressed intention to embark on a protest in the capital city on Saturday, 4th June and ahead of their demonstration, they wrote to the Police making demands.
They requested permit to use private security instead of Police guard and also demanded they should be allowed to wield guns.
Excerpts of the letter read; “We will bring our own security company to provide protection to demonstrators. All weapons held by demonstrators or by the contracted security personal will be for personal protection only; and all weapons will be duly permitted in accordance with the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972 (NRCD 9) e) Proposed route and destination: We expect that the Demonstrators will gather at Circle.
“The procession will move from Circle to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, where the Protestors will make a demand a slot on GTV to speak directly to the Nation and lay out our grievances, in accordance with Article 55(11), which guarantees fair opportunity to Ghanaians to present their programmes to the public through equal access to the state-owned media.”
Confusion Rocks June 4 Demo
However, some of the leaders of the Movement have backtracked as they tell Ghanaians they have nothing to do with the letter.
Also in a statement, issued on Thursday, June 2, 2022, the FixtheCountry Movement seemingly rendered an apology describing their approach to be flawed.
“We unreservedly apologize to the public, especially our supporters. We wish to reiterate that #Fixthecountry is a movement committed to peaceful democratic accountability,” the conveners wrote.
“In this moment of clarity, we wish to recommit to actively ensuring that our activities and all attendees will be kept safe. We also recommit to continue fighting for victims of Police brutality who we intend to keep at the centre of our work,” they added.
Stay On Alert
Dr. Smart Sarpong takes the organizers’ apology with a pinch of salt and admonishes the Police not to grant them the right to stage their protest just because they have retreated from their earlier position.
He noted that, although it’s a constitutional right for people to embark on demonstrations, it is however incumbent on the Police to block any kind of protest that seeks to undermine Ghana’s democracy.
“We should not be allowed to do things the way we want. When granting the rights, grant it carefully and make sure that everyone falls within the remit of the law.”
“They should carefully grant some of these rights. Even if you are granting rights without guns and they even promise that they won’t take guns along with them, the fact that they sent that signal, you should go to sleep and think we have settled with them not to bring guns; so we are granting . . . Still be on the alert. Who knows? One or two people might ignore the warnings and bring along their guns . . . We have to be very, very careful in granting that right to demonstrate. We are not saying we should cancel it but if we are granting, we should grant it careful, especially from a group like Fix The Country,” he said while speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” programme.
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