The Ghana Police Service has debunked claims that they have banned demonstrations and other mass activities because of the scheduled demonstration by the Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG), a pressure group.
The group was forced to call off its April 18 demonstration after the police secured an order to stop them on the grounds that it does not have sufficient personnel to provide security for the demonstrators.
According to them, most of their personnel are on duty at the Supreme Court for the on-going election petition case.
The police over the weekend issued a directive banning every demonstration or mass activity in the country due to the on-going court case.
Speaking to Kwami Sefa-Kayi in an interview on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, DSP Cephas Arthur, Director of Police Public Affairs said there is no way the ban will be because of AFAG, adding that the ban is nationwide and not only in Accra’.
“It is not because of AFAG, if it was because of AFAG, we would not have taken it nationwide. Demonstrations are not only for issues having to do with court and so nobody should think that it is only for AFAG…” he said.
The Police Service apart from demonstrations has also banned the celebration of festivals until further notice.
According to DSP Cephas Arthur, festivals nationwide, should be put on hold since there will be not enough personnel to provide security.
He indicated that they can handle emergency services; but in terms of planned events; special events, they can hold. ‘Festivals should be withheld because they all fall under special events’, he added.
DSP Cephas Arthur narrated that the police personnel at the Supreme Court are not the only ones on duty, there are others who are on stand-by.
“When we say police personnel are on stand-by, it is just like those on duty and so it means they cannot indulge in any other activities so that anytime they are called upon, they will respond promptly. And that is why we are saying that we cannot give protection to any other event in the country. If you are in the security work, you don’t take anything for granted. We have to put men on stand-by for any eventuality…” he asserted.
According to him, the stand-by does not mean anything bad will happen, ‘it means they can be called upon to assist in security at the Supreme Court’. He however added that the police will be attending to emergency cases.