Greater Accra Operations Commander of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Supt. Kwesi Ofori has denied claims by residents of Adentan in Accra, that the police fired live ammunition at protestors last Thursday.
Kwesi Ofori said the police officers dispatched to disperse the rioters fired teargas, rubber bullets and water cannons.
Speaking to news programme, The Pulse on the Joy News channel Monday, he denied vehemently the claims by the protestors and residents who vowed that the officers fired live ammunition.
“The proper ammunition has far more devastating consequences,” the officer boasted.
The protest was triggered after a taxi on top speed on the N4 Highway ran into a first-year student of the West African Senior High School, which is located along the stretch. She died on the spot.
Residents say it was the 194th death in 2018 alone, but the police say the number is 24.
But the residents had had enough. Their cries for the government to complete the footbridges on the highway had consistently fallen on death ears.
The death of the young girl sparked what the media described as “fiery fury”. They burnt tyres and blocked the roads and chanted “no more deaths”. Their intention was for the deadly road to get footbridges before it is reopened to the public.
The police had other plans. In videos that circulated on social and mainstream media, the police are seen chasing the protestors and beating them up. Some of the fire ammunitions like teargas and “rubber bullets”.
A woman and her 14-year-old son were hit by a stray bullet as they waited in their car while the riots were ongoing. The teenager was taken to the Nyaho Medical Centre where the bullet was removed.
The police have, however, defended their use of force to stop the protestors. They say the protest would have escalated had they not stopped them. They said the protestors pelted them with stones and force must be met with force.
“If you use hard hands don’t expect the police to come with empty hands,” Kwesi Ofori said.
He also said it is about time “the media understand riotous events so people don’t see us as devilish.”