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28.02.2006 General News

We Can't Protect 'Concerned Ghanaians' -Govt

By Cfm

Government Spokesperson on Governance, Mr Frank Agyekum has justified the reasons adduced by the Police for advising against Thursdays demonstrations by the Concerned Ghanaians.

The Police on Monday at a meeting with the group told them that their involvement in the upcoming 50th Independence celebration will make it impossible for them to grant protection to the group.

Organizers of the group consequently did not take kindly to the Police's decision, describing it as frivolous.

Speaking a local radio station, Mr Frank Agyekum said the country does not have enough personnel and resources to serve both purposes. He said the National Democratic Congress, NDC, must be in a better position to know that the inadequate personal on the part of the Police will render them incapable of executing such a job.

He added that prior to the group's second demonstration, the group was warned that it should not go ahead with it, but they refused and the results were clear. He described that the demonstration intended to embark upon is unwise because the bill has been passed anyway. He added that the New Patriotic Party, NPP, is not going to sit down for the NDC to dictate to them as to how to rule the country. He said the NDC must note that in democracy, it is about allowing the Majority to have its say for the Majority to have its way.

In a comment on the rather quick appendage of presidential signature to the bill despite intervention by social institutions, Mr. Agyekum said there was no time to waste since the act had been passed. He noted that the President had asked the Minority to go back to Parliament, but refused to do so because they preferred going to the streets to demonstrate and therefore are paying a price for that.

He explained that perhaps if the NDC had gone back to Parliament to debate the bill a little more, it will not have been passed into an act much less undergo presidential assent. Reacting to Frank Agyekums's claims, Mr Fiifi Kwetey, a member of the Concerned Ghanaians and Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, maintains that the reasons by the Police are untenable. He said the Police had no option than to grant them the protection as mandated by the constitution. He described the Police as being biased in discharging their duties.

The NDC firebrand alleged that the Police had wanted to use the recent demonstration to intimidate them so that they do not embark on any subsequent one, but stated that is not going to work. He questioned what authority the Inspector General of Police has to cite resources as one of the reasons why they cannot discharge their constitutionally mandated work. “That should be left solely in the hands of the Finance Ministry” he added.

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