The Ghana Police Service has categorically stated its men followed due process in dispersing the Let My Vote Count protestors who were bent on storming the Electoral Commission of Ghana, contrary to a restraining court order.
The police used tear gas and water canon to stop the protestors resulting in several injuries.
The director in charge of police operations, COP John Kudalor, has patted his men on the back for following crowd control rules.
“I don’t feel sorry, the boys did well,” COP Kudalor told Ultimate FM’s Breakfast Show host Prince Minkah, Thursday.
He stressed: “That’s what they were supposed to do…once there is life and property, we must maintain law and order.”
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has condemned the brutality, describing it as “acts of excessive force” by the police.
“We therefore call on the hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service to expressly look into this matter with all the seriousness that it deserves and ensure that those officers who perpetrated this act are brought to book, in order to avert such occurrence in the future,” its general secretary Kwabena Agyepong said in a statement.
However, the police boss has justified the actions of his men, saying the security followed best practices.
“They acted well, we have one of the best trained in such instances… We have a formed police unit, the UN came, and they saw our practice and our training. Our men have been trained and retrained… You wanted them to fold their arms for the crowd to go through their ranks to the Electoral Commission, when an order has been given by the courts? We don’t have law and order?” COP Kudalor quipped.
Fight has just begun
The botched demonstration was organized by four pro-opposition groups, Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) Movement for Change (MFC), and the youth wing of the New Patriotic Party.
Meanwhile, the convener of LMVCA, David Asante, has served notice they will embark on another demonstration to press home their demand for a new voters’ register.
“What we are excited most about is the fact that, now we know there is the need for a new voters’ register. It’s not just a battle limited to LMVC, it is a sensitive matter at the very heart of the peace and the democracy we practice in this country. The fight has just begun, the fight for a new voters’ register has just begun. We will go on another demonstration,” Asante told Minkah.
“It was barbaric on the side of the police to use brutish force when it was part of the agreement that we were not going to picket at the Electoral Commission. However leadership would send the petition. We got there and we saw the police had formed a barricade, attempting to negotiate with the police; before we could say Jack… there was gunshots.”
Source: Ghana/starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Patricia Ama Bonsu