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01.03.2005 General News

"Wahala Demonstration" was peaceful - Police

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Accra, March 1, GNA - Not a single nasty incident was recorded during Tuesday's "Wahala Demonstration" in Accra against the recent increases in the prices of petroleum products announced by the Government and the general cost of living, the Police said.

Dr Kofi Kese Marfo, Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operation, told the Ghana News Agency at the entrance of the State House, where the demonstrators had assembled for their Leaders to go and present a petition to Parliament, that no nasty incident was recorded during the march from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the State House. He said more than 1,000 Police personnel were deployed but the demonstrators so comported themselves that they did not have much to do.

Dr Marfo explained that they held a series of meetings with the organisers of the demonstration - the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), comprising a number of opposition political parties, democratic organizations and civil society groups. He said they agreed on the mode and route for the march, which they complied with, hence there was no problem. Asked to rate how peaceful the demonstration had been on a scale of 10 one Senior Police Officer cut in to say: "Ten over ten; since it was completely incident free."

Hundreds of people began the march, dubbed: "Wahala Demonstration", against the recent fuel price increases and the general cost of living from the Freedom and Justice Park, near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. Mr Edward Omani Buamah, spokesman for CJA, said the demonstration was also against "bad governance, mounting economic hardships and the insensitivity of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government". Some of the placards read: "Corruption Made In NPP"; "Zero Tolerance of Corruption Is Now Transparent Corruption;" and "NPP Government Is Suffocating Us".

The Former President Jerry John Rawlings; Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential Candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC); Mr Obed Asamoah, Chairman of the NDC; Asiedu Nketia, Former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, were among the demonstrators.