The Deputy Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, has expressed the need for conveners of the Arise Ghana demonstration to take responsibility for the clash between demonstrators and the police, insisting that he who comes to equity ought to come with clean hands.
According to her, it appears the conveners of the demonstration are shirking responsibility particularly in the role they played which led to the violence that erupted between protestors and police personnel. She indicated that the conveners had failed to aptly educate and sensitise protesters on the limitations of their actions prior to the protest as well as the routes set out by the Accra High Court.
Fatimatu Abubakar iterated that in Bernard Mornah’s narration of events that led to the clash and its aftermath, he failed to take responsibility for his actions and inactions.
“As a lawyer I know very well that the rights of every single Ghanaian guaranteed under Article 21 Clause (1d) of the 1992 Constitution is such that everyone who wants to protest has the opportunity to do so in this country without anybody trampling upon their rights. But every right comes with its responsibility. In this entire conversation, as a leader of the demonstration or one of the conveners of the demonstration, I haven’t heard a sentence from Bernard that he also accepts some responsibility. He who comes to equity ought to come with clean hands.”Fatimatu Abubakar
The Deputy Information Minister highlighted that had the conveners agreed to use the routes established by the Accra High Court, protesters would not have clashed with the police, putting lives and properties at risk.
Referencing the Public Order Act, Section 3 Subsection 2, she explained that a person taking part in a special event “shall obey the directions of the police officers guarding the proper movement of any other person or vehicles and generally to maintain order”.
“So, when you reach out to people, invite Ghanaians to come out in their hundreds to join in a protest, leadership of the organisers of Arise Ghana also have the responsibility to educate and sensitise the protestors that we can do everything we want to do, but it should be within the remit of the law.”Fatimatu Abubakar
Her comments followed an earlier narration of events by Bernard Mornah who claims the police were the ones to have instigated the violence and not the protestors.
Narration of protest by Bernard Mornah
A Leading Member of the Arise Ghana pressure group, Bernard Mornah, recounted what allegedly ensued at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle on Tuesday June 28, 2022, between protesters and police personnel. He revealed that the police instigated the riot and that ruined what was intended to be a peaceful demonstration.
Mr Mornah expressed that the actions of the protesters were only in reaction to what the police did on the protest ground. He explained that what actually happended during the demonstration is in sharp contrast to an earlier press release by the police stating that their actions were in reaction to protesters pelting stones at them.
He further stated that the actions of the police had placed the wellbeing of some leading members of the National Democratic Congress in harm’s way.
“So when they started shooting – I say this and people laugh – I don’t know where Asiedu Nketiah learnt his tactics from, he just dived inside the KIA and laid down flat inside the KIA. Totobi was trying to move towards the police to find out where this madness was coming from, then his bodyguard pushed him to the ground because the people were coming with such ferociousness…”Bernard Mornah