Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the Police should be commended for the high level of professionalism they exhibited during the demonstration by members of the Arise Ghana pressure group on Tuesday June 28.
He noted that even when they were were attacked by the demonstrators, the officers remained calm and carried out their assignment.
“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 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 daylight 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 said on the Good Evening programme Tuesday June 28.
The Police announced that 12 officers have been injured during the demonstration by members of the Arise Ghana pressure group on Tuesday, June 28.
The injured officers have been transferred to the Police hospital in Accra for further treatment.
“Some Police vehicles have also been damaged,” the Police said in a statement.
The Police further described the development as shameful.
“What a shame, we were there to protect you and ensure your safety, but you throw stones at us, injure and hurt us. This behaviour is unacceptable and must be condemned.”
But a leader of the group, Sammy Gyamfi dismissed claims that members threw stones at the Police during the demonstration.
He described the persons who exhibited that conduct as agent provocateurs who were planted in their midst by the Police.
They are agent provocateurs planted in their midst by the Police, these are not members of the Arise Ghana. We arrested them and gave them to the Police.
“We did not go there with sticks, we did not go there with stones, we went there with our voice to protest against the obnoxious e-levy which amounts to thievery.
He added “our hands are clean, our conscience are clean, we believe in what we are doing.”
Sammy Gyamfi further accused the Police of embarking on Public Relations (PR) gimmick to brand the demonstrators as violent citizens.
“If you look at the statement being issued by the Police on their social media handles, you can clearly see through the PR gimmicks being mounted by the Police.
“PR gimmick intended to brand Arise Ghana as violent citizens of this country. They described us as rioting demonstrators. No one who intends to embark on a riot will give the Police the Police 20 days notice to embark on a riot,” the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said.