Following the violence that characterised the Wednesday demonstrations by the Let My Vote Count Alliance, President John Mahama has asked the police command to probe the incident.
Mahama urges police command to review LMVCA demo violence
Speaking at a grand durbar of chiefs and people of Asogli Traditional Area in Ho to climax their annual Yam Festival, Mr Mahama described the brutalities suffered by some demonstrators as terrible.
He said: “A few days ago, a most unfortunate incident happened in Accra… it is my understanding that at some point during the march, the demonstrators veered from this legally permitted route. In an attempt to contain the crowd, the police employed the use of tear gas and water cannons. Much to my regret, I learnt that a few of the demonstrators were beaten and hurt and ensuing stamped occurred…”
“In rare instances namely when there is a credible threat to the officers of the law or to members of the public, the use of reasonable force by the police is justifiable. On such occasions the police are enjoined to strictly abide by the prescribed rules of engagement while ensuring the rights of citizens are not trampled upon. This is a terrible situation and one that should absolutely not have happened. Ghana is a nation of laws and a nation that respect the rule of law,” President Mahama added.
MORE IMAGES HERE: > Police bloody clash with demonstrators
He stated that the right of the citizens should not in any way be trampled upon.
“I have held discussions with the police authority and urged the command to review the unfortunate event of last Wednesday in line with policies and procedures that officers are expected to follow in response to incidents of this sort. The basic rights of all citizens must be recognised and respected at all times,” the president noted.
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 demand the creation of a new voters’ register, turned violent, after many people got injured and some flogged by the police.
The demonstrators were tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets by the police after having reportedly veered off from the approved route to picket at the Electoral Commission (EC).
The action, according to the police, was triggered when, "The movement of the demonstrators violated the laid-down rules, the agreement between the police and themselves. They branched before the NDC headquarters heading apparently for the EC and the Police stopped them.”
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