The shocking and barbaric acts were carried out by Police and Security personnel who were detailed to guard and protect protesters who had embarked on a peaceful demonstration in line with their constitutional rights. The demonstrators were only marching through the streets of Accra to present a petition to the Electoral Commission demanding the scrapping of the current bloated and discredited electoral register and the compilation of a new one for the 2016 elections!
The peaceful demonstration which was attended by Ghanaians from all walks of life was organised by groups who want to see the integrity of our democracy restored, following recent calls by several groups for a new voters register ahead of the 2016 elections.
The organisers included the pressure group “Let My Vote Count”, Movement for Better Ghana, Alliance for Accountable Governance and some political parties including the Progressive Peoples Party and the National Democratic Party. The leaders of the demonstration had duly served notice to peacefully picket at the Electoral Commission to present their petition in accordance with the law, but clashed with the Police over the route they would take.
The resulting acts of brutality by the Police, including the use of tear gas, police batons, sheer force, and even apparent shooting at protestors, are reminiscent of the era of military rule in Ghana, criminal in nature and an affront to Ghana’s democracy.
Such acts must have no place in Ghana’s 4th republic. We must rise up together to defend our hard-won freedoms! We call on all peace-loving Ghanaians to unreservedly condemn this action. We call on the Government of Ghana, to call the Police Service and Security forces, to order, to the voice of the people, desist from such cowardly and shameful acts, and to immediately release any persons they have unlawfully arrested as a result of this demonstration. We further call on the Electoral Commission, to accede to the request for a new voters register and to move with urgency to compile a new register that will restore trust in our electoral process.
The consequences of not heeding to these calls will be ghastly to contemplate. We hold the government, under whose watch this is happening, accountable, and demand that they act responsibly and take the necessary actions in a timely manner, to avert any further brutalities and confusion that will only mar the peace that Ghanaians deserve ahead of, and after the 2016 elections!