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General News Wed, 21 Aug 2019

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Group accuses Police of blocking ‘Drop PDS’ demo

The group leading the Drop PDS Demonstration has accused the police of blocking its attempts at a civil protest.

This is after the police asked the group to postpone the demonstration.

In a letter from the police sighted by Citi News, the group was urged to postpone the demonstration to “any day after the second week in September.”

The police explained that it was “constrained in terms of manpower” to provide the needed security because of the oncoming National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries and the Homowo celebrations.

But the group said it would not accept the police’s reasons.

“Considering the loose nature of the excuses given by the Police, we believe that there is a clear and deliberate attempt by the Ghana Police to stifle this civil demonstration by the Coalition of CSO’s.

First of all the Homowo festivities are almost over and our routes for the demonstration does not affect any of the areas still celebrating Homowo. Secondly the NDC Parliamentary primaries is on Saturday and our demonstration is on Thursday and it does not affect the NDC primaries in any way.”

The group said it had always felt the “Police had a prejudiced position on this PDS issue and were poised on stopping this important civil action against the government using technicalities.”

The group concluded saying it shall involve its lawyers in the matter and respond to the police accordingly.

The group’s protest was to urge the government to cancel the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession after it was suspended over some breaches in the agreement.

The government is currently engaged in a probe of the deal.



Find below the full statement;

POLICE BLOCKS PDS DEMONSTRATION AGAINST GOVERNMENT

In accordance with the Public Order, Act (491) we the convenors of the DROP PDS DEMONSTRATION wrote to the Ghana Police Service in fulfilment of the Constitutional requirement for a civil demonstration.

Last week Thursday after our initial meeting with the Deputy Regional Commander of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, it appeared the Police had prejudiced position on this PDS issue and were poised on stopping this important civil action against government using technicalities.

However we were patient and very much abrest with the Public Order Act and so we responded to all the initial issues that the Police raised until they had no other issue to raise.

Finally we were invited for a final meeting with the Regional Police Commander on Monday for what was supposed to be the final meeting with the Police to finalise the security arrangements for the demonstration on Thursday August 22, only for the Regional Commander to tell us during the final meeting that the Police cannot provide us with the protection for this demonstration in accordance with the Public Order Act.

The reasons given by the Police were that there is Homowo festival and NDC primaries on Saturday.



First of all the Homowo festivities are almost over and our routes for the demonstration does not affect any of the areas still celebrating Homowo.

Secondly the NDC Parliamentary primaries is on Saturday and our demonstration is on Thursday and it does not affect the NDC primaries in any way.

The Police also raised issues of recent armed robbery attacks as part of the reasons for denying us the needed protection for this demonstration saying their men are busy fighting armed robbers and they cannot provide protection for a demonstration on PDS.

Considering the loose nature of the excuses given by the Police, we believe that there is a clear and deliberate attempt by the Ghana Police to stifle this civil demonstration by the Coalition of CSO’s.

We have therefore referred the letter of the Police to our lawyers and we shall respond to them accordingly.

We therefore advise all well meaning CSO’s to remain calm as we address this impasse with the Police.

Thank you for kind cooperation.

Signed:

Mensah Thompson

Convenor, Drop PDS Demonstration.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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