Occupy Ghana as a pressure group which believes in the right of citizens to register their displeasure through demonstrations, strongly condemns the “steadily graduating force” exhibited by the Ghana Police Service against ordinary Ghanaian citizens in the demonstration and picketing by the group collectively identified as Let My Vote Count (LMVC).
We recount the situation in Kumasi where demonstrators veered off the route provided by the Ashanti Regional Police, but they professionally dealt with the situation and in the end there was very minimal incidence. We are very disappointed in the Greater Accra Regional command, for their lack of professionalism in dealing with demonstrators and rather resulted in brutalising them like horses instead of arresting them. There has so far not been a shred of evidence either from the police or the general public that the demonstrators at any point in time characterized a threat to lives or public safety. We believe our police is labelled as a service for the reason that they provide protection and professional guidance to demonstrators. However in what seems to be a total breakdown in order from the police the considerably peaceful march ended up as a bloody attack from the police, using weaponry and tactics known only to war zones. OccupyGhana condemns without reservation the action of the police. The Police Service should be aware that such acts, visibly archaic, smack of the apartheid era, and primitive policing methods, all over the world have always precipitated a wanton degeneration and breakdown of order, mistrust in the police and led many a time to the fall of a regime. Indeed, no regime has survived by using oppressive means in recent history. Even more worrying is that there are Ghanaian citizens applauding and congratulating the police for the needless show of brutal force in addressing marchers taking an unapproved route. Such outward show of insensitivity to democratic rights of others and endorsement of brutish policing is a very dangerous signalling to a country known for peace. It also is a dangerous signalling for a country almost divided by partisan political affiliations, and soon to go into elections in 2016, after a long drawn election petition at the Supreme Court. It is shameful but not surprising that the Minister of Communications, who ridiculed protesters of
the #OccupyFlagstaffHouse demonstration, would support the act of such force, forgetting he has also used demonstrations to voice out his displeasure to the government of the time. We call on the leadership of the Police to wear a cloak of humility and render an unqualified apology to mend and cool down the brewing anger on both sides of the political divide and rather work to bridge such divisions just as the conveners of the demonstration has done. The police service exists to protect the citizens of a country in all situations and not to intimidate or brutalise them. We also urge all citizens to obey the law at all times and be properly engaged in dealing with the security agents lest our dear country is turned into a war zone where the citizenry have no confidence or respect in the security forces.
OccupyGhana believe in the rights of citizens to demonstrate and voice out their grievances. It is not acceptable that civilian protesters should lose their limb and in one particular case, a complete eye in their pursuit of peace and order in Ghana
Yours in the service of occupying minds for God and Country
For further information please contact Ing. Nana Sarpong Agyeman-Badu, OccupyGhana® Media Relations by replying to this email, or on +233 264771508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.