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General News of Wednesday, 29 June 2022


Ghanaians 're-enact' ENDSARS protest as demo turns bloody, chaotic

The scene of the clash in Accra play videoThe scene of the clash in Accra

The Ghana Police Service has arrested 29 persons who were directly connected to the violence that characterized the first day of the Arise Ghana demonstration in Accra on June 28, 2022.

In a statement signed by Chief Superintendent Grace Ansah-Akrofi, Director of Public Affairs, the Police were also reviewing available footage with the view to making more arrests if need be.

The two-day Arise Ghana demonstration was organized to highlight the rising cost of living and issues of misgovernance in Ghana. The protest was led by top personalities across the political divide, leaders of civil society organizations and well-meaning Ghanaians.

Several reports indicated that there was a clash between protesters and the police after the security service barred the angry protesters from using the unapproved route. According to the police, a court order had barred the protesters from the proposed route which will lead to the Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency.

The clash which began at noon saw stones being thrown at the police by some irate supporters after which the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to thwart the aggression by the protesters in retaliation.

Twelve policemen have been injured as a result of clashes, a statement by the police said.

A reporter with GhanaWeb said a water cannon was also deployed as some protesters mounted roadblocks by burning tires in the middle of the road.

Protesters Unshaken

Sammy Gyamfi, a leading member of Arise Ghana who is also the National Communications Officer of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), says only “death” can stop the Arise Ghana Coalition from demonstrating despite attempts by the Ghana Police Service to stop them.

He made the comment in an interview with a local radio station, NEAT FM. He insisted that the police can use all their “needless tactics” but the pressure group will demonstrate as scheduled.

“Unless they kill all of us that day, aside that, nothing can stop us,” he vehemently said.

“They can’t tell us what to do on that day. They have to protect us, and that is their job,” he noted.

Organizers of Arise Ghana demo ‘wanted’ by Police

The police in a statement issued Tuesday, June 28 by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police under the hand of Chief Superintendent Grace Ansah-Akrofi said the police will arrest the organizers and subsequently arraign them before a court.

The police say they will be arrested for their role in the incident. They say the leaders will be held responsible for the attacks and damage to public property after the protest turned chaotic at the Kwame Nkrumah interchange, GhanaWeb reports.

According to the police, their decision is in tandem with Section 3 of the Public Order Act, (Act 491) which places a responsibility on organizers of a demonstration and others participating in a protest.

“The organizers of the demonstration will be arrested and put before court for the attacks and damage to public property, in line with the provisions of Section 3 of the Public Order Act, (Act 491),” part of the statement read.

Similarity to the END SARS protest

While no deaths were recorded in the Arise Ghana protests, they are few similarities that can be teased out with the deadly the End SARS protest of October 2020 that led to the death of several Nigerians.

Recall that numerous Nigerians took to the street to demand an end to extrajudicial killings by SARS operatives, as well as police brutality, harassment, and bad governance.

The demonstration which climaxed on October 20, 2020, saw security operatives open fire on the protesters at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos State.

Like Ghanaians who have continuously decried the economic state of the country, Nigerians fought against brutality, torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by security agencies such as the police, military, and the State Security Services.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has grown unpopular as a section of the Ghanaian populace have accused his government of imposing more taxes rather than scraping them taxes as he promised during his campaign. The controversial Electronic Levy tax which was passed in May after five months of delebration has failed to leave to expectation.

This was confirmed by a close confidant of the Gabby Otchere-Darko, a close confidant of the President in a tweet thread on Monday, June 27. According to him, the e-levy as it is popularly called has generated only 60 million Ghana cedis which is 10 percent of expected revenue. He proposed an IMF bail-out.

"After 5 months of stalemate and bashing, the e-levy, after implementation, is delivering only 10% of estimated revenues; our revenues remain very low as compared to the rest of the world; debt levels dangerously high, cedi, like most currencies, struggling against the US dollar, he tweeted.

"What options are open to government? The question should rather be: what option, if adopted, will re-inject investor confidence in our economy? Even if we find the $3-5 billion required, will that help? E-levy which was to have given us some 600m by now has done less than 60m."