A leader of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest, Bernard Mornah, has criticised the Ghana Police Service for preventing protestors from marching to the Jubilee House, the seat of the government.
According to him, the Jubilee House should be the safest place for protestors to mass up to press home their demands if it’s considered a security zone.
“We don’t agree that any place is a security zone. In fact, if the place is a security zone, it is the safest place to be. It means the place is a fortified area, the security is in total control of the area, and they should be in a position to ensure the protection of lives and property.
“If, for instance, the #JulorbiHouse area [Jubilee House] is seen as a security zone, what it means is that there’s proper surveillance around that area. What it means is that at the least disturbance, the security is able to run in and do what they have to do. Such a place is the easiest for the police to regulate and direct traffic. Doing your traffic duties among demonstrators also now constitute a security threat? Certainly, that cannot constitute a security threat,” he said on Citi News.
Mr Mornah further described the police’s action on Thursday as “reckless”.
“On the first day of the protest, which was a Thursday, September 21, the police behaved in such a reckless, unlawful, violent manner. True to our predictions, the police acted in an illegal manner. We met the IGP and his team, but it was evident that the issue of justice for the people is not a preoccupation of the police. All that they are thinking about is peace. But when injustice is perpetuated, no one can expect that peace can survive.”
The first day of the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration organised on September 21, 2023, by the pressure group Democracy Hub to demand better governance for Ghana, was shrouded in drama.
Protesters accused the police of abuse, harassment and suppression after 49 suspects were arrested for unlawful assembly and violating the Public Order Act.
The police said they were arrested after they defied a court order prohibiting them from protesting in the vicinity of the Jubilee House and the 37 Military Hospital area, a claim denied by the conveners.
The police on Wednesday, September 20, filed an application at the court to halt a planned demonstration at the Jubilee House by a group known as Democracy Hub.
Meanwhile, the third and final day of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration is underway as protesters hit the streets of Accra on Saturday, September 23.