The youth wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress says its planned street protest in Accra will come off despite the decision of the Police not to provide security for the march.
According to the party, the basis for the police’s refusal to provide security for the protest is flawed in law.
“In the wake of recent developments of insecurity, killing of innocent citizens by security forces and growing unemployment; causing young despair, the National Youth Wing of the NDC informed the Police of its scheduled demonstration and street protest in accordance with Section 1 the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 491).
“The Police accordingly responded to our letter on June 30, 2021 in a letter with reference number 84/vol.17/104, and in a bizarre twist of events, informed us that the Police cannot provide security to protectors, and insufficiently referenced EI 395 and section 4 of Act 492, among others, as a smoke screen to impede the protest,” the statement said.
The statement warned the party will not allow itself to be intimidated by the government through the Police.
“The general public is hereby informed that section 4 of Act 491 specifically clothes the Minister of Interior with powers to impose curfew in the country, and so far as we are concerned, no part of Accra is under curfew for which reason demonstration cannot be held as the Police erroneously want us to believe.
“The weakest of all reasons cited by the Police was it’s reference to EI 395 in it’s letter. For the records, EI 395 was birthed on the strength of section 2 of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012) and gazetted on December 23, 2020. It is instructive to note that, section 4 of Act 1012 provides that “a restriction imposed under subsection (1) of section (2) shall be for a period of not more than three months”. If the Police Service was meticulous and not preoccupied with petty partisan politics, it would have known that EI 395 expired in March 2021. In effect, there is no law as EI 395 to be adhered to. We want to inform the general public who have received notice of the ‘A MARCH FOR JUSTICE’ street protest with enthusiasm and eagerness that, there is no law which gives the Ghana Police Service power to stop demonstrations or protests”.
The statement signed by the National Youth Organiser of the George Opare Addo noted te the Police does not have the power to stop lawful demonstrations.
“In other words, the power to stop lawful demonstration does not rest with the Police. We have taken a decision to stand in for the several young people at the mercy of the injustices of this system; with lost hopes, no jobs, no opportunities and yet being killed and oppressed. Government must work for the generality of the people whose taxes finance the luxurious living and wishes of a select few in public service.
“The last thing the NDC will succumb to, is an oppressive Police Service acting in faithful compliance of government’s wishes against the PEOPLE of GHANA. It is our DUTY to defend the people against the indiscretion of government assigns”.