• Dr. Asante has called on the security services to come up with new methods of handling protests
• He said protests are continually happening in Africa and people cannot be stopped from expressing their sentiments
• He also urged stakeholders probing the Ejura killings to be constructive
Kojo Asante, Director for Policy and Advocacy, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has urged the security agencies in the country to devise new strategies for combating crime and handling protests in the country.
He said protests and demonstrations are issues which a nation cannot do away with, but proper means of handling the situation is what is important to prevent any deaths.
He spoke on the sidelines of the two-day workshop being held on ‘Enhancing the capacity of domestic election observer groups to address the challenges of electoral dis/misinformation,’ in Accra.
“Protests don’t happen only in Ghana, it has been consistent across Africa and in the last decade, the incident of protests is increasing and maybe that has not been established scientifically but it has to also do with the demographics that we are dealing with. Africa has one of the youngest populations and so it is expecting that people protest against government and security agencies must accept that these expressions or dissatisfaction on any matter is going to continue,” he said.
He also noted that many protests happen across the globe but such fatalities are not recorded hence the need for the police to develop newer ways of handling protests.
“What the security agencies should begin to understand is how to deal with that kind of expression of dissatisfaction. They cannot use the same old methods, when the Ejura was happening, Agbogbloshie was happening and yet we didn’t see death in Agbogbloshie because the way you approach a protest is different from how you deal with arm combat among others. It probably even requires different personnel to deal with those kinds of expressions than we are used to, there are countries with lots of protests happening every day but they don’t record these kinds of fatalities,” he said.
Responding to whether the country is handling the aftermath of the protest properly, Dr. Asante said stakeholders need to be constructive and come out with the best recommendations.
“I think that we have to be constructive, it is very important for the people of Ejura and also for a lot of people who are watching how this matter is going to be resolved that the committee gets it right so I think in the first week, people have raised a lot of concerns even to the extent that the family of the gentleman, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, was killed had decided that they are not going to participate. I think it is opportunity for the committee to listen to those issues and reset themselves so that they can complete the work successfully,” he added.