ALLIANCE FOR Accountable Governance (AFAG), a pressure group which intends to hit the streets to demonstrate against government over the current economic hardships in the country, has been stopped by an Accra Circuit Court.
The court, presided over by Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh, yesterday granted an ex-parte motion filed by the police restraining the organizers, executives, members, agents and all other persons from embarking on the demonstration.
This followed a submission made by Superintendent Baffour Apenteng, praying the court to order the organizers to postpone the demonstration because the Regional Police command is over-stretched in terms of manpower deployment and also for the fact that the date clashes with the hearing of the landmark election petition at the Supreme Court.
The court which observed that it would be difficult for the police to release enough officers to provide security for the demonstrators, hence granting the motion, however ordered the police to negotiate with AFAG for a convenient date.
Superintendent Baffour Apenteng, in moving the motion, informed the court that on April 4, 2013, a notification letter to the Accra Regional Command signed by Ohene Djan, the Deputy General Secretary, indicated that AFAG would stage ‘Mieekukum’ (we are dying) demonstration on April 18, 2013.
‘The purpose of the demonstration, according to the notification, is to rally against serious economic hardship currently prevailing in the country, which has manifested itself in seemingly endless labour unrest and that they expected about 20,000 or more to participate in the demonstration,’ the officer disclosed.
According to Superintendent Apenteng, the Regional Police command wrote back to AFAG pointing out to them that at the time the discussion took place where the date of April 18, 2013 was agreed on, the Supreme Court had not fixed April 18, 2013 to determine the election petition; therefore they should postpone the event.
Quoting section 69 subsection 4, 5, 6 of CI 74, which mandates the Supreme Court to sit from day to day including weekends once the substantive case begins, Superintendent Apenteng stated that the police would have to deploy men to provide security and protection on a daily basis.
He said the Regional Police Command further explained that it was over stretched in terms of manpower and therefore could not ensure security for the expectedly huge number of participants.
However all efforts being made by the police to have AFAG postpone its intended demonstration have failed, he said.
AFAG had scheduled the demonstration against the alleged hardships inflicted on Ghanaians by the Mahama administration.
It said the state of hopelessness in the country prompted the group to stage the street protest.
‘The current economy can best be likened to “a comatose patient at the intensive care unit without a diagnosis.
‘We need a change in direction, and not until the Supreme Court provides justice to reflect the will of the people, we will continue to suffer economic injustices from a government that appears bedridden over issues that border on corruption and sound economic management. Fellow Ghanaians, all is not well!!! We must speak out now or forever hold our peace’, the group told journalists at a press conference in Accra.
Ghana, according to AFAG, is on its knees and panting for social and economic edification.
‘Economic hardships for the masses, empty state coffers, mounting public debts, dwindling economic fortune, sky-rocketing unemployment, naked thievery, unrelenting labour agitation and Policy misdirection.
‘Indeed what is fundamental for human survival is now ‘gold-plated’ and makes nonsense of Maslow’s theory of needs.
John Mahama and his administration should stop the propaganda style of governance and concentrate on fixing the real issues that confront us as a country. Under his watch, Ghana today can be likened to a child who has lost control on a tricycle descending a slope’, it said.
By Mary Anane