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14.02.2006 General News

Heavy Police presence at Anti-ROPAB demo

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - More than a thousand Police Officers drawn from Accra, Tema, National Headquarters, Eastern and Central Regions on Tuesday offered security protection for the anti-ROPAB demonstrators in Accra.

The Officers and men dressed in anti-riot security gear were heavily equipped with modern riot control gadgets including batons, shields, riot vehicles, ambulances and other intelligence equipment. Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in commending the peace officers for a good work done.

The Officers under the Command of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Douglas Kofi Asiedu, the Accra Regional Commander, built a human defensive wall along the designated routes earmarked for the protest march from Kwame Nkrumah Circle through the Nkrumah Avenue, Trades Union Congress, National Theatre and Ministries Traffic Lights and ended at the forecourt of the Osu Military Cemetery

The over six-hours protest march organized by a group calling itself Concerned Ghanaians and supported by some minority parties including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), People's National Convention (PNC), EAGLE Party, National Reform Party (NRP), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and some civil society organizations ended peacefully.

According to the protestors the march, which was against the passage of the Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB) also aimed at sending strong signal to Parliament and the Presidency to withdraw it. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr David Eklu, Director of Police Public Affairs, said the heavy Police presence was to protect life and property.

He described protest marches as unpredictable events, which required adequate control to ensure that the peace was not breached. Other Police Officers GNA talked to, commended the organisers for adhering to the State Public Order Law.

The protestors clad in red signifying the season of love on Saint Valentine Day carried placard with various inscriptions such as: "Referee Kwadwo Afari Gyan, show love to Ghana rather than kickback"; "We want peace not war"; "Stop NPP Rigging Agenda"; "Why only Presidential Election" and "NPP want to steal 2008 Elections". Other placards read: "NPP Don't Misuse the Word 'Patriotic', 'Patriotic' means love for ones nations"; "Kufuor what are you afraid of?" "We no go sit down make them cheat us everyday"; "ROPAB Rest in Peace" and "God Forbid Diaspora Vote".

However, some over-zealous Police officers did not allow the GNA to perform its statutory function as they prevented the Agency from accompanying the Leaders to present their petition.

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