The Ghana Police Service has commended the Arise Ghana Demonstrators for the incident-free demonstration they undertook yesterday, June 29, 2022.
Yesterday marked the second and last day of the two-day demonstration which turned sour on its first day.
Unlike the first day, the police said they were satisfied with the outcome of the last day.
“The police wish to register their satisfaction with the successful outcome of day two of the Arise Ghana protest”, a statement released by the Ghana Police Service said.
This was in spite of the fact that arms were spotted with some of the protestors on the second day.
The Genesis of The Protest
The demonstration was organised by a coalition called Arise Ghana to protest the “worsening economic situation of the country”.
Arise Ghana demonstrated against the “hikes in fuel prices; imposition of the obnoxious E-Levy; police brutalities and state-sponsored killing of innocent Ghanaians; and the de-classification of huge portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve”.
The group also wants a full-scale and bi-partisan parliamentary probe into COVID-19 expenditures.
The initial plans of the pressure group to undertake a 48-hour demonstration and picket at the Jubilee House on the first day were altered by the police and the court.
The group initially planned to converge at the Obra Spot at exactly 12 pm and then “move through the Nima Police Station street to the Arko-Agyei interchange and end at the Frontage of the Jubilee House where we will picket until 10 PM.
“On the second day, 29th of June 2022, we shall converge at the El-wak sports stadium at 12 PM and move on the Land Commission road to the Liberation road all the way to the Ministry of Finance, where a petition would be presented to the Minister for Finance. From the Ministry of Finance, we shall move to the frontage of the Parliament House of Ghana, where we shall present a petition to the Speaker”, the group announced in a statement.
After efforts to alter the time from night to day by the police through meetings with leadership of the group failed, the former went to the Accra High court to seek an order against the night protest.
The court subsequently ordered that the protest commences at 8 am with the demonstrators converging at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, moving through Farisco, TUC to the Independence Square and presenting a petition to an official from the Presidency on the first day.
The Court noted that the protest must end at 4 pm.
Day 1 Of Demo
On the first day, hundreds converged at the Obra Spot as the Court order had it but when the time came to hit the streets, the protesters decided to use the route that leads to the Jubilee House- a route contrary to the court order.
This resulted in a clash between the police and some of the protesters leading to injuries in twelve police officers, some of the protestors and damage to a police vehicle.
Twenty-nine arrests were also made on the first day.
Out of the 29, nine were held at the Tesano Police station, ten at the Nima Police Station, and five each at the Osu police station and La police station, according to the Director of Legal Affairs for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba.
The organisers of the protest, at a press conference on June 28, alleged persons captured in videos pelting stones at the police personnel were not Arise Ghana Demonstrators but police officers disguised in Arise Ghana T-shirts.
This was however denied by the Police Service in a statement.
Day 2 Of Demo
On the Next Day of the protest, Protesters and personnel from the Ghana Police Service gathered at the El Wak Stadium where Joshua Akamba, a member of the Arise Ghana demonstrators and the National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was spotted with a gun.
The police managed to convince him to put the “licensed” gun away and to convince any other person with such a weapon to do the same, which he complied.
Akamba told the media that the law was not against carrying licensed guns during a protest and insisted that he carried it because his life was at risk, citing an incident where his wife and child were attacked by a gunman.
He was not the only one reported to have been spotted with a pistol. Media reports indicated that another man only known as Yussif and described as former national security personnel was also spotted with a pistol but was arrested and sent to the Police Headquarters.
Just before the protesters moved, the police warned them against the use of a catapult, a weapon the police had been told will be used for the second day of the protest.
Finally, the protestor hit the streets from El Wak Stadium through the Lands Commission to the Ghana Post Office, then to WAEC, then to the Department of Parks and Gardens, through to Christ the King Church and moved through the Sankara Interchange and then marched towards the Ecobank Head Office to the Ministries area.
The leadership of the protesters presented a petition to two deputy ministers at the Finance Ministry and the leadership of Parliament at the end of the march.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini