A demonstration by the members and supporters of the Let My Vote Count Alliance turned violent, after the police fired tear gas into the demonstrators and flogged some.
Former head of Political Science department of at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Amoako Baah, has bemoaned the conduct of the police during the demonstration by Alliance for accountable governance (AFAG).
READ MORE: > Police whip Let My Vote Count Alliance demonstrators
A demonstration by the members and supporters of the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) and Movement for Better Ghana to drum home the need for a new voters register turned violent, after the police fired tear gas into the demonstrators and flogged some.
The police claimed the demonstrators violated agreements on the approved routes.
But speaking on Radio Univers’ Behind the Headlines, Dr Amoako Baah said the action by the police is an affront to democracy and infringes on the right of the group to demonstrate freely.
“Demonstration is guaranteed in the constitution and so when someone wants to demonstrate and the police say ‘you can’t because we cannot guarantee your safety’… that in itself is not a grounds for you to say it. If we accept that argument, it means a person can only demonstrate when the police say ‘you can’. Sometimes, the police can say under the circumstances where you are going to do it and the time will create a lot of problems and if it is reasonable, then of course, you have to make adjustment,” he said.
“But the point is, when somebody wants to demonstrate, as the word suggests, you want people to see that there is something wrong somewhere and that is why you want to demonstrate at that location. But if they want to take you somewhere else, for me, it loses the importance,” Dr Amoako Baah added.
Meanwhile, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has defended the use of force by the Ghana Police Service during the demonstration.
WANEP co-founder, Emmanuel Bombande on Unique FM’s Behind the News suggested that instead of criticising the Police, the general public should rather “appreciate them” because “if data were destroyed at the EC or sensitive materials were destroyed, it will cost the nation millions of Ghana cedis so the Police could not just stand by and let that happen.”