13.03.2006 General News

Concerned Ghanaians: Replace ACP Akrofi Asiedu for March 16 demonstration

13.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March 13, GNA - Concerned Ghanaians, a pressure group protesting against the Representation of the People (Amendment) Law, on Monday confirmed that the next street march against the Law would take place in Accra on March 16 and urged the Inspector General of Police to replace the Greater Accra Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Akrofi Asiedu as the leader of the Police contingent to provide security for the demonstrators on that day.

A statement signed by Mr Bernard Mornah and Mr Abraham Mohammed Sanusi, leaders of the group, said the 'mere presence' of ACP Akrofi Asiedu at the march 'would inflame passions'. The group said all uniformed Police deployed for the demonstration from Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Mantse Agboena must display their identification numbers clearly.

"The Police should adopt a marcher friendly attitude and avoid the aggressive display of riot control hardware. This show of force simply raises tensions and does nothing to increase public security." The statement said Concerned Ghanaians would continue "to build an Anti-ROPAL Movement into a massive disciplined political force". It said they would cooperate with the Police as long as they respected their constitutional rights. "Indeed, we hope that the IGP appreciates how badly the 21st February (demonstration) damaged the image of the Ghana Police Service at home and abroad. We hope the IGP will take this opportunity to redeem his image as well as the image of the Service."

The group organised two demonstrations in Accra on February 14 2006 and February 21 2006. The second demonstration turned violent when Police used their water canon to put off burning tyres, which action infuriated the demonstrators and they started throwing stones at the Police. Police responded by throwing teargas canisters into their midst and charging on them beating them up with their batons and thereby injuring a number of the demonstrators.

The Police in a statement said a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Dr Kofi K. Manfo and other Officers were hit with stones. Some of the Leaders of the group and other people were invited by the Police for interrogation but it is not yet certain whether the Police would press charges against them.

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