Researcher at the University Of Cambridge, Oliver Barker-Vormawor has rejected the Police’s assertion that #FixTheCountry protest scheduled for May 9, would be a super-spreader of Covid-19.
According to the member of the agitated group, events held by political parties last year and submissions provided by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah soon after indicate that outdoor gatherings do not elevate the risk of contracting the virus.
He, therefore, told Evans Mensah on Top Story reasons provided by the Police to dismiss the group’s protest hold no water, since government stated unequivocally political rallies did not lead to the country’s Covid-19 second wave.
“For nearly 18 months since the outbreak of the Covid-19 health emergency, the government has not developed any protocols or so ever for how public assemblies for the purposes of exercising the right to freedom of assemblies can take place. Yet despite, the fact that we have been putting in place Covid restriction measures, which they lift haphazardly depending on when they want to.
“We have had several public gatherings which have been organized by the state including political rallies, voting exercise and other public events during the same period. The government by its own example has shown us that it is possible for public gatherings, especially in outdoor spaces to be carried out without significant risk of the spread of infection.
“And it is here that I must point out throughout November 2020 to January 2021, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah continuously challenged any claims that political gathering led to any increase in Covid-19 cases,” he said.
Barker-Vormawor’s comments briefly follow a response from Head of the Public Affairs Unit of Accra Regional Police Command indicating that the scheduled protest conflicts with government’s ban on social gatherings to curb the Covid spread.
DSP Effia Tenge revealed to JoyNews that her outfit would resort to a court order to back its stance should the agitated group defy its directive.
But for the Group’s representative, there is no substantial reason provided by the Police to halt the protest especially when it clearly suggested ways it would be Covid-19 compliant while embarking on its protest.
Mr Barker-Vormawor revealed that it would utilize all legal procedures to ensure the group registers its displeasure through a protest because “it is possible to organize public gatherings, and public events and be Covid compliant.”
“So we are sure that if public gatherings carried thousands of people, including the voters exercise which entailed 13 million Ghanaians did not lead to a rise in any infections then in the same way we exercise our constitutional right to vote, we are going to be able to exercise our constitutional rights to hold the government to account through a conversation and that is what we are going to do.
“How we are going to proceed is going to be grounded in law as far as we understand the police have acted themselves outside the bounce of law and we have a constitutional responsibility to disregard unconstitutional conduct,” he concluded.
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