The police have picked up a gun-wielding man at the El Wak Stadium in Accra where Arise Ghana demonstrators had gathered for day two of their 2-day demonstration.
The police also advised Mr Joshua Akamba of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), upon seeing him with a weapon, to put it away since it was illegal for him to be armed at such an event.
Mr Akamba was then urged by the police to advise other demonstrators with guns to surrender them, which he did.
Meanwhile, pollster Ben Ephson has said he is outraged at the Arise Ghana demonstrators and their leadership for forcing to march in front of the Jubilee House – the seat of the government – during their protest that started on Tuesday, 29 June 2022.
The protesters clashed with the police phalanx amid the firing of rubber bullets and tear gas.
There were injuries on both sides.
So far, 29 of the demonstrators have been arrested.
The police, in a statement, condemned the breach of the agreement by the demonstrators.
Speaking on the Class Morning Show about the incident, Mr Ephson, who is the Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch, told Kojo Oppong Asamoah that since the Kume Preko march led by Nana Akufo-Addo in the 90s against the introduction of Value Added Tax, “demonstrations have become ‘ineffective’ at getting governments to change their mind”.
For instance, he noted that the E-levy was reduced from 1.75% to 1.5%, not because of a demonstration.
In his view, the Arise Ghana demonstrators got it wrong by insisting on using the Jubilee House road when they had initially agreed with the police that it was out of bounds.
“I think that the leaders of the Arise Ghana demonstrations have a responsibility for anything that happens because if you’ve agreed with the police that these are the routes we are going to take, the police said, ‘we’ll not allow you on this route’, so, the police blocked the routes you originally wanted to use and you wanted to break through that, no responsible police officer or commander in charge will allow you”, he said.
“That one, no matter which government is in power … they [police] will not allow you. I think that the leaders have a responsibility to bear for their decision to go back on their agreed routes with the police”, Mr Ephson stressed.
He wondered: “What is so special that if you don’t go to Jubilee House, you can’t make your views known?”
“You want to go pass Jubilee House, the police says, ‘we won’t allow you’, you agree: ‘Ok, we’ll go to a different route, then you want to go there [Jubilee House] … why, if you don’t go to Jubilee House, can’t you make your views known? Does going to Jubilee House make your message more sensible? If you have a message, pass it on”, he fumed.
“You cannot take the law into your own hands”, an angry Mr Ephson said.
“I repeat: I will not adhere to any group which will renege on an agreement with the police. Why do you want to go to Jubilee House? Has God told you if you go to Jubilee House, you’ll be heard better? You put people’s lives at risk”.
“My anger is that you agreed that ‘we’ll go through this path’”.
Mr Ephson said if the demonstrators have any information contrary to the alleged agreement they had with the police, then they should make it public.