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03.03.2006 General News

NPP Gov't becoming more and more repressive

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Accra, March 3, GNA - The Concerned Ghanaians (CG) has condemned what they termed, "an illegal attempt by the Police to disrupt a lawful public forum organized by the CG at the Sea View Hotel, James Town in Accra.

"The attempt by the Police to invoke the High Court Prohibition Order to prevent Concerned Ghanaians from holding a public forum is dishonest and shameful. It is an abuse of the authority of the High Court for which someone must be held responsible."

A release signed by Mr Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament on behalf of the CG, said the High Court order prohibited only demonstrations against the passing of the Representation of the People's Amendment Bill (ROPAB) for 10 days.

"By no stretch of the imagination can the Police honestly interpret this to mean that Concerned Ghanaians cannot hold public meetings for 10 days," the release said.

It said although the Police had "publicly stated that they could not deploy men for the March 2 demonstration, officers were deployed along the planned route of the demonstration despite the Order of Prohibition. "It is even more significant that they were able to deploy officers armed to the teeth to prevent an indoor discussion of ROPAB. Obviously the Police consider suppression of citizens rights a rehearsal for March 6," it said.

The release said citizens were now confronted by a Police Service with "elements who are willing to lie and to deploy main force" to intimidate citizens and to prevent any discussion on ROPAB. It said since February 21, there had been a trend of repressive Police conduct geared towards demobilizing the anti-ROPAB campaign "to shore up the NPP's crumbling legitimacy or if necessary to impose a Police state that at least protects NPP's authority".

The release said the Police needed to be aware of the fact that they derived their authority form the respect and goodwill of the populace, adding that losing the respect of the citizenry ultimately meant losing their authority.

"While we will respect lawful orders of the courts, we will unfailingly continue to defy illegal Police orders as we did today," the release said.

It called on President John Agyekum Kufuor to abandon ROPAB and pave the way for national discussion on electoral reform. "It is not too late for the NPP and its supporters to move off the disastrous path along which they are leading the nation. There is a better way -a way of dialogue and consultation and ultimately of submission to the will of the people," the release said. 3 March 06