Concerned Ghanaians, Police Clash…Over ‘Dumsor’ Demo


IGP Mohammed Alhassan
A meeting between pressure group, Concerned Ghanaians (CG), and the police ended in a deadlock yesterday.

The police had invited members of the group who are planning a demonstration on Independence Day, March 6, 2015, against the energy (power) crisis that has beset the nation and the seeming inability of both government and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to solve the problem.

It was to fashion out modalities and a route for the protest march which has been named ‘dumsor demo’.

CG was represented by Goodfellow Ofei Dei, Atick Yakubu and Raymond Nkansah while the police team was led by the Greater Accra Regional Commander, DCOP Christian Tetteh Yehonu, his Staff Officer, Superintendent Asiedu, and one Lydia Apenu, Secretary to the Commander.

But the meeting ended with no agreement between the two sides on the issue of date and the route for the demonstration.

Disagreement
‘The meeting was quite a tensed one. A lot of back and forth in the negotiations which ended in a deadlock, but we’re hopeful that both sides would find a common agreeable ground.

Nonetheless there are indications the police would be agreeable to the 6th March date,’ Goodfellow told DAILY GUIDE minutes after the meeting.

Apparently, the police wanted the organisers of the demonstration to reschedule the date for the event to a week after the independence anniversary celebration because they had a number of engagements, including preparations for the Independence Day on March 6 and providing security for dignitaries including heads of state who would be gracing the occasion.

He also spoke about the fact that the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and workers of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital had also notified the police of their intentions to hold similar public events in this month of February, in addition to preparations towards the upcoming District Assembly elections to elect Assembly Members in March.

In view of these engagements and other events, the police therefore failed to reach an agreement with the members of the group since they were not ready to change the date.

They promised to get back to the police after consulting their leaders and members.

Threat
That did not seem to have gone down well with the Regional Commander, for which reason he threatened to use a court order to stop the group if they ignored his advice that they choose another suitable date.

‘The Regional Commander said from 4th to 6th March they will be preparing and training for a parade so whatever we do he will get an injunction to stop us,’ Goodfellow narrated.

On his part, DCOP Yehonu confirmed to DAILY GUIDE that they had disagreements with regard to the date and that the leadership of the group promised to get back to him by Wednesday, by which time they would have consulted their membership.

He stated that in case they decided to proceed with the demonstration on the same date, the police would have no option than to go to court for an order to prevent them.

However, indications are that leadership of the group is not prepared to bow to pressure to change the date for the demonstration. The group appears poised to go ahead with the demonstration on the planned date since, according to Goodfellow, ‘there are indications the police will be agreeable on the March date.’

He said ‘all concerned Ghanaians should therefore mark that date on their calendars because the protest is definitely coming on.’

By Charles Takyi-Boadu


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