The Inspector General of Police, David Asante Appeatu, has refuted allegations that the Police service acted unprofessionally by shooting to dispel angry protesters during Thursday’s chaotic protests on the Madina-Adenta highway after the death of a 19-year old student due to the unavailability of footbridges on the stretch.
According to him, although police officers were initially attacked by the raging protesters, his men maintained professionalism and brought the situation under control.
The IGP further called on the public to provide evidence of police officers shooting or attacking civilians.
“I am not aware of any police officer shooting, if you have, you may have to give information to the police so that we can do this investigation. We are looking at any person who was shot at, it is very important that we do this investigation.”
Narrating the instances that led to the spontaneous chaotic scenes, he said the police service swiftly went in to ensure law and order after the death of the 19-year old West African High School student, and the resulting chaotic protest over the lack of footbridges on the road.
“As you may be aware, there was an incident here, disturbances and total chaos, and the cause of it was that somebody was killed. So this fatal accident resulted in people protesting violently here, so the police came in to ensure law and order. They did attack the police, and we as usual maintained our cool and ensured that law and order prevailed. “
“Today, I am here to come and assess the scene, there is a free flow of traffic and our motor traffic officers are also here to enable this free flow.”
The IGP’s comments however appear to contradict what was widely reported in the media as well as views some Ghanaians expressed on the matter.
Some footage from the scene has been described by some as resembling a war zone as heavily armed police in full gear were seen and heard firing gunshots.
Whereas some media outlets reported that protesters were shot at with live bullets, other trending videos from the protests also revealed some police officers mercilessly attacking and beating up civilians.
Citi News’ Fred Tettey Djabanor, who was at the scene of the protests, also recounted how he saw the police attack some civilians unprofessionally.
Police defend use of force on Madina-Adentan protesters
The Ghana Police Service earlier in a statement explained that it employed “appropriate riot control methods” during the protest by residents along the Madina-Adentan highway despite reports of excessive force used by police personnel present.
Meanwhile, it admitted that “in the process, a boy of fourteen years was injured and was treated and discharged at the Nyaho Clinic in Accra”.
Madina-Adentan road death ‘an unnecessary loss’ – Nana Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has extended his condolences to the family of the latest victim of a road accident on the Madina-Adenta highway.
The President described the death as “an unnecessary loss.”
He also said the “scenes that played out in its aftermath are regrettable, and should not happen again.”
The protests moved the government to announce that work is to commence on the uncompleted footbridges on the Madina-Adenta highway from next week following the death and subsequent protests on Thursday.