Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Information Minister
Arise Ghana organisers hold press conference after Day 1 of protest
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Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has stated that, all those who threw stones during the Arise Ghana demonstration were captured on camera hence, making it easy for identification, arrest and prosecution, 3News.com has reported.
His comment comes after the organisers of Arise Ghana after the chaotic demonstration on June 28, claimed that, the persons planted by the Police were the first to throw stones at the protest.
However, according to the Minister who was speaking on the Good Evening Ghana show on Metro TV on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, it is the court that will determine who started throwing stones..
“When they are arrested and put before court, we will find out whether they are Police or not”, he said.
He further urged Ghanaians to commend the police for the high level of professionalism they exhibited during the demonstration.
“First, we should commend the Policemen and women for their professionalism. The IGP was very clear that the demonstrators are supposed to be your brothers and sisters, treat them with decorum, assist them to exercise their constitutional right under Article 21(1)(d) which gives you the right to join an assembly to protest to as you please.
“Even when they were attacked by these persons, though they had superior force that they could use even in their own defence, in compliance with the instruction of their superior, they still kept their calm and did their best to control the situation.
“There is an obvious attempt to create instability in our country at this time, we don’t need to mince words about it. There is a trajectory, first, there was a group that wanted to demonstrate with weapons, then there was this group that said they wanted to demonstrate throughout the night till the following morning. The Police raised obvious security questions against that.
“This is even day time, broad day light at Obra Spot here at Accra, you have people attacking Police in this manner, can you imagine what could have happened at night if some of these things were allowed to continue throughout the night”, he added.
Brief of what we know so far:
Police announced the arrest of 29 people in connection with violent incidents that marred the Arise Ghana demonstration at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
According to a statement dated June 28 and signed by Chief Superintendent Grace Ansah-Akrofi, Director of Public Affairs, the Police were also reviewing available footage with the view to making more arrests if need be.
“The Police have arrested 29 demonstrators for their participation in violent attacks on the Police and some members of the public including school children during the Arise Ghana demonstration in Accra…” the June 28, 2022 statement added.
The statement further disclosed that leaders of the protest will be arrested and arraigned for the attacks and damage to property according to provisions under relevant laws.
In an earlier statement, the Police said a dozen of its officers were injured in the clash and were receiving treatment at the Police Hospital.
A GhanaWeb reporter observed that stones were thrown at the police by some irate supporters following which tear gas and rubber bullets were fired as police moved to thwart the change of route for the protests.
Water canon was also deployed as some protesters mounted road blocks by burning tyres in the middle of the road.
Arise Ghana, an amalgamation of groups and individuals organized the two-day protest to highlight the rising cost of living and issues of misgovernance.
Despite a court order relative to time and route of the protest, the leaders insisted on following a route other than the one ordered by the court, an insistence by the Police that they obey the agreed upon route resulted in the skirmishes.