‘FixTheCountry’: Don’t use Covid-19 to suppress peaceful demonstration – Sammy Gyamfi
The National Communications Officer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has hit back at the Ghana Police Service for declining the intent of some agitated Ghanaians who want to demonstrate on Sunday, May 9.
Sammy Gyamfi in a tweet on Wednesday stated that “Covid-19 should not be used as pretext to suppress our inalienable right to peaceful assembly.”
According to him, the rights of the people must be upheld.
Some unhappy Ghanaians mostly made up of the youth on Tuesday, notified the police of their intent to embark on a demonstration following an uproar on social media.
The protest, which has been dubbed, “FixTheCountry” is to vent their spleens over what they describe as a failure on the part of successive governments to improve the lives of the citizenry.
In the letter signed by 20 individuals, they explained that the date, May 9, was selected to capture the restless spirit of the over 126 Ghanaians who lost their lives some 20 years ago at the Accra Sports Stadium due to the “institutionalised incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives.”
As well as to commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the anti-government Kume Preko Demonstration of May 11, 1995, which was championed by President Akufo-Addo, Charles Wereko-Brobby, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Akoto Ampaw and Napoleon Abdulai.
However, the Head of the Public Affairs Unit of Accra Regional Police Command says the imposition of restrictions means the demonstration has to be halted and has communicated same in a written letter in response.
“The police will not be able to provide the necessary security looking at the spread of Covid-19 and the kind of dangers that it poses to members of the public should they attend this demonstration,” DSP Effia Tenge said.
But, Mr Gyamfi has questioned the constitutionality of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012) adding that it has been selectively implemented.
“It’s about time we had a national conversation about the constitutionality of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012) and the selective application of same,” his tweet read.
Meanwhile, conveners of the protest say are disappointed by the Police’s response.
One of them, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, told Evans Mensah that they will use dialogue to remind the police as to why they cannot be cowered while pledging to act in conformity with the constitution.
#FixTheCountryNow has been topping Twitter trends for the past 72 hours.
Social media users, largely the youth, in their posts have been highlighting some of the inadequacies in the country.
Despite efforts by government including the Nation Builders’ Corp (NABCO), National Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and other commitments towards investing in the growing human capital, some Twitter users say the impact is not felt on the ground.
Dominant in the sentiments shared on Twitter are rising youth unemployment, dilapidated health system, skyrocketing home-renting structure, poor road networks among others.
Coupled with corruption, erratic power and water supply, the users say the development has compounded their challenges and made life difficult for the average young Ghanaian to make a decent living.