Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagba has criticized the Ghana Police Service for the apprehension of OccupyJulorbi House protesters. According to him, the ability of the people to demonstrate is an inherent democratic right and any attempt to hinder such exercise is unacceptable.
Mr. Ahiagba, in a Facebook post, stated that, though he disagrees with the captioning of the Presidency as a JulorbiHouse by the protestors, their right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed under the constitution and any action targeted at impeding this right is an affront to democracy.
“The ability of the people to demonstrate is an inherent democratic right. Therefore, the decision to stand in the way of citizens’ exercise of this fundamental right is unacceptable.”
“I don’t agree with the derogatory caption of the Presidency by the organizers of the demonstration, but impeding their right to peaceful assembly is an affront to democracy–plain and simple. “he noted.
He reckoned some peaceful demonstrations that occurred under the the Akuffo Addo led Government and called on the Ghana Police Service to intervene to stop the impunity with which demonstrators are arrested in the country.
“There have been several peaceful demonstrations under President Akufo-Addo–the arise Ghana demo, the Kume Preko Demo, and the others. Why now? The leadership of the Ghana Police Service must intervene to stop this poor development. This is not the publicity we need on a day such as this…Allow!” he added.
On Thursday, 21st September, 2023, the convenor of the #FixTheCountry movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor lamented in a viral video that, he was arrested together with some of the #OccupyJulorbi protestors.
He noted that they were disappointed in the actions of the police.
“We have just been arrested and taken to the police headquarters. We will provide legal assistance to all those who have been arrested today. This is not democracy.”
He stated that the country had weaponised the police to suppress demonstrators adding “They have no right to arrest demonstrators in the country. This is not the democracy we signed up for. This is not a democracy.”
The protestors were arrested for their refusal to comply with a police injunction issued on the eve of the planned demonstration.
Democracy Hub emphasized that they had not received formal notification of the court order, which was the basis for their decision to proceed with their peaceful march.