Politics of Friday, 20 February 2015
Members of the Movement for Change (MFC), a pressure group belonging to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have stated emphatically that they don’t want to spill blood, stressing that their beloved party, the NPP, abhors lawlessness and chaos.
Because of this, they have postponed their dumsor demonstration in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, from February 24 to February 25. The intended demonstration is aimed at registering the group’s dissatisfaction with the President Mahama-led NDC government for its non-performance and the unending regime of dumsor it has inflicted on Ghanaians. According to the group, its decision to change the date for the protest follows its determination to maintain the peace in Kumasi and the country in general.
Dr Nsiah Asare, a leading member of MFC who made the disclosure on Wednesday, said there was a possibility of a bloody clash if the MFC and the Organised Youth of Ashanti (OYA), an NDC group, went on demonstration in the city on the same day.
He was speaking when the Ashanti Regional Police Command, led by DCOP Kofi Boakye, the Regional Commander, met the leadership of MFC and OYA at an emergency meeting to decide on what they should do to prevent chaotic scenes in the area on February 24.]
Charles Agyeman of OYA had in plain language told the gathering, including the hierarchy of the police in the region, that his group would organise a procession on February 24 to showcase the government’s achievements regardless of the security threat.
DCOP Kofi Boakye thanked MFC for their understanding and therefore sanctioned that OYA would hit the streets on February 24 with their procession, followed by the MFC’s demonstration on February 25, stressing that the police was prepared for the two big events.
He announced that the police would deploy 200 policemen and bullet-proof cars to offer unbending protection for both MFC and OYA in their separate programmes, noting that the police would make sure that both events were incident free.
DCOP Kofi Boakye said the MFC were the first to write to the police on February 6 about their intended demonstration in the city on February 24, followed by OYA who also sent their letter to the police on February 10 about their intention to embark on a procession in the city on February 24.
He said like any human institution, the regional police command committed a blunder by granting the requests of the two groups to demonstrate in the city on the same day, adding that the police after realising the mistake, quickly contacted OYA and MFC to change their dates for security reasons.
The police capo admitted that the clash in date was the fault of his office and apologised to both groups for the mishap, assuring that such a mistake would not occur again in the near future.
He however stated that the police could not allow their mistake to lead to both OYA and MFC hitting the streets on the same day since it could pose a great security threat, hence the need for one of the groups to change its date.
DCOP Kofi Boakye, in an angry tone, vehemently debunked the blatant lies being peddled against him by some OYA members to the effect that he (Boakye) was the one who received their letter and mistakenly kept it in his pocket, resulting in the confusion that arose.
He stated that as regional commander it was not his duty to receive letters on behalf of the police in the area, adding that he had accepted to take responsibility for the mishap caused since one of his subordinates accidentally caused the blunder.
DCOP Kofi Boakye then disclosed that he had secured a court order to prevent the two groups from demonstrating in the city on the same day, which is February 24, in case both groups insisted that they would hit the streets on the same day after the emergency meeting with the police on Wednesday.
He said it was dangerous for the police to allow MFC and OYA to demonstrate in the city on the same day and told MFC and OYA to come out with what should be done to ensure peace regarding the impending demonstrations in the city.
Charles Agyeman, who spoke for OYA, insisted that his group would still maintain the February 24, 2015 as the day they would hit the streets, telling the police command that OYA was not prepared to change its date.
Dr Nsiah Asare of MFC, on his part, said even though they were the first to send their letter to the police, the danger that MFC’s and OYA’s demonstrations in the area on February 24 posed was too great, and that MFC had decided to change its date from February 24 to February 25 for peace to prevail.
“Kumasi is our town and if anything happens our people will suffer,” he noted, adding that even though it was not easy for MFC to change their date, because of “the love we have for the people of Ashanti Region, we don’t want any chaotic scenes in the area so we have shifted our date.”
Dr Nsiah Asare added that the police were right in saying that if OYA and MFC hit the streets the same day, the probability of chaotic scenes and possible spillage of human blood was too high, noting that “so b cause of that MFC have decided to postpone their demonstration to save life and property.”