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02.03.2006 General News

NDC to recruit 500 ex-security personnel


Accra, March 2, GNA - The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday described an "Order of Prohibition" issued by Justice P K Gyaesayor at the Fast Track High Court in Accra preventing the holding of the anti-ROPAA demonstration on March 2, as a blessing in disguise.

"Within the period the Concerned Ghanaians through the NDC would mobilise about 500 ex-servicemen, former members of the defunct 64 Battalion and other security minded personalities to protect the demonstrators against infiltrators, and guard against any mishaps targeted at the leaders and demonstrators," Mr Elvis Afreyie Ankrah NDC Deputy General Secretary stated.

Mr Ankrah stated at James Town, during Odododiodio Constituency Assessment Meeting attended by leading members of the party from the region as well as the national executives and observers from Concerned Citizens groups.

The NDC Deputy General Secretary said the "Order of Prohibition" which will remain in force for ten days was politically and legally the greatest mistake by the police and government.

"It has offered us the opportunity to organise support from all over the country, mobilise own security apparatus and other contingencies we have overlooked in the past."

He debunked the perception that with the passage of the bill and subsequent signing by the President John Agyekum Kufuor the anti-ROPAA protestors should stop.

He said this was the time for intensification and mobilisation of all people to stand firm against the government, "the problem is not the passage, the bill could have been passed in one week, but the major issue is at its implementation stage."

Ms Emelia Arthur, Deputy General Secretary of the National Reform Party (NRP) commended Ghanaians for their solidarity, which they demonstrated through their massive turnouts at the two previous demonstrations.

She urged them not to be discouraged by the event at the last demonstration, especially police brutalities, "it should strengthen you as well as spur you to fight on until the law is withdrawn."

Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Acting Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC) accused the police of descending into the arena of participation in party politics saying, "they must exhibit sincerity and neutrality in the execution of their duties."

He said the Police Administration's argument that because of the preparations towards the celebration of the 49th Independence Day on March 6th, they would not be able to offer police protection for the demonstrators fell flat.

He said "It remains a paradox for the Police Administration to unravel, how they were able to mobilise hundreds of police officers to stand at vantage points around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and other principal streets of Accra today (Thursday} when they had claimed they would not be able to offer protection to the demonstrators. Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Publicity Director of the Convention People's Party (CPP) said the government, had lost the argument and was resorting to panic measures.

He said the government used the Ghana Police Service to brutalise and intimidate protesters but when the tactics failed, NPP rushed for the enactment processes (parliamentary vote and presidential assent), through in the hope that resistance would collapse once the law had come into force.

Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, National Organizer of the NDC said the greatest mistake of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was to go to court to restrain the anti-ROPAB demonstrators.

He said that action by the Police had rather resolved the confidence of the demonstrators to organize more of such demonstrations to fight against some of the injustices of the NPP government. He said the group "Concerned Ghanaians" was not flouting the law but the Police must act professionally and be sincere in their work and not kowtow to the whims and caprices of politicians.

"Even though the Police have denied this issue, I believe that they are now descending into the arena of politics," he added. Mr Ampofo said the current NPP administration had become arrogant and did not have respect for the people who put them into power. He said the group was not going to rest in their struggle against ROPAB till the government withdrew the law.

Other speakers included Dr Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman, Mr Aseidu Nketia, General Secretary, Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, National Organiser and Hajia Mariama Sinare, Deputy Women Organizer all of the NDC.