The National Youth Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye, popularly known as Nana B, has urged the Ghana Police Service to allow the youth wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to organise their planned demonstration dubbed ‘March for Justice’.
The youth wing of the NDC had written to the police requesting protection for the protest set for July 6, 2021, in Accra.
In response, the police said it cannot provide protection for the youth group, citing among other things COVID-19 as an excuse.
“Restrictions imposed by the Executive Instrument (EI) 395 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have still not been lifted”, the police stated.
But speaking on Peace FM’s Krokookoo on Friday, July 2, 2021, Nana B disagreed with the position taken by the police.
According to him, demonstrations are a constitutional right, hence the police cannot deny any Ghanaian from exercising such right.
“I disagree with the police. If they [NDC youth] want to embark on a demonstration, they should be allowed to go. The police should sit down with the organisers and agree on the routes to use for the protest; it could be just one route. The police should be able to tell the organisers to provide the protesters with nose masks and hand sanitisers, so they can embark on the protest,” he said.
Police can’t stop us; the ‘March for Justice’ demo will come off
Meanwhile, the youth wing of NDC has rejected the excuses given by the police.
The National Youth Organiser of the NDC, George Opare-Addo, told Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News that the police’s reference to the Executive Instrument put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 as one of the reasons for denying them their right to protest cannot be accepted because it expired at the end of May 2021.
“The law that the police quoted, EI 395 expired on the 31st of March 2021. A new E.I. was passed and that one was for one month and that one expired on 31st May, so as of today, no new E.I. has been passed.”
“They [Police] know that they don’t have the power to stop us from embarking on our demonstration. It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can stop us from embarking on a demonstration,” he added.
Mr. Opare-Addo also said the NDC intends to compel the police by an order of mandamus in court to perform its function of providing security for the demonstration.