A demonstration christened ‘AAGBE W)’ by a group calling itself The Inter-Party Coalition in Defence of National Sovereignty is currently ongoing at the principal streets of Accra.
According to the group, the demonstration is in protest to the violence which marred the by-elections at Ayawaso West Wuogon on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
Speaking to JoyNews Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Bernad Mornah said the purpose of the demonstration is to demand the immediate resignation of the IGP, David Asante Apietu and the Minister of State in charge of National Security, Mr. Bryan Acheampong.
According to the organizers of the demonstration, they started at the Obra Sport, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, made a stop at the Ministry of Interior and are currently at the Police Headquarters. They will end at the Flagstaff House, where a petition will be presented to the Vice President.
Former President encourages supporters to Join Demo
Meanwhile, the former President, John Dramani Mahama, has endorsed the demonstration and called on all members of the National Democratic Congress to participate in it.
In a tweet on Wednesday, he wrote: “I welcome the Initiative of the Inter-Party Coalition for National Sovereignty and I encourage all members of the NDC to participate in tomorrow’s demonstration. Let’s show to the world that we stand for peace and that the violence displayed at AWW has no place in our democracy.”
Hundreds of demonstrators, including the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia and the Chairman of the PNC, Mr. Bernard Mornah, clad in red and black have taken over the principal streets of Accra Thursday.
Some notable personalities among the demonstrators include the Former Minister for Communication, Dr. Edward Omani Boamah, the former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Sylvester Mensah, NDC Women’s Organizer, Dr. Hanna Louisa Bissiw, the former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur and Member of Parliament for Klottey-Korley Constituency, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings.
The demonstrators are wielding placards bearing various inscriptions with political undertones. Some read “Bloody MP,” “Ghana is no longer safe,” “We can’t sleep under violence,” “Stop killing us,” “Nana Addo the useless one,” etc.
Security for demonstrators
Personnel from the Ghana police service have been deployed by the Ghana police to provide security for the demonstration.
Speaking to the press prior to the demonstration the Greater Accra Director of Operations said they will provide adequate security for the demonstrators.
“I can confidently say that the Regional Police Command is determined to ensure incident-free demonstration. And that we going to police all the routes with zeal and that it is our humble request to the demonstrators that they all live within the confines of the law,” Superintendent Kwesi Ofori said.
Caution not to politicize the demonstration
However a civil society group, One Ghana Movement, agrees that the top security chiefs should be sacked, especial the Minister of State in Charge of National Security, who has admitted to deploying those who caused the violence at the by-election. They have also called for a de-politicization of the demonstration.
Speaking to News Desk Thursday, Emily Nyuur, the Executive Secretary of One Ghana said, “The Minister of State In charge of National Security should step aside with good conscience. All those at the helm of affairs should step aside. Demonstrations of these sorts are important. We should not politicize them. We should be very careful how we come across.”
‘Fake’ Commission of Enquiry
Meanwhile, the demonstrators tell JoyNews they are unsatisfied with the formation of a Commission of Enquiry to look into the violence. Not only do they label it as fake but according to the General Secretary of the NDC, it is a last minute attempt to “sabotage the demonstration.”
“They have done everything possible to sabotage this match. The police tried to dictate our routes. We refused. And indicated to them our constitutional powers. So when that failed the last effort they made was to rush the announcement of a Commission of Enquiry last night. That commission is a fake commission,” he told JoyNews’ Amefa Dzradosi.