The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi, has said that the Police’s refusal to permit the #FixTheCountry protest march on grounds that it cannot guarantee a safe adherence to COVID-19 protocols is a convenient excuse that tramples on citizens’ inalienable right.
In a tweet responding to the Police announcement, Mr. Gyamfi wrote that the position also brings into question the whole issue of the prerogative that the Police has to permit protests or not.
“Covid-19 should not be used as a pretext to suppress our inalienable right to peaceful assembly,” he wrote.
He added, “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.”
#FixTheCountryNow is topping Twitter and has been rallying momentum towards a planned demonstration on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
Organizers explain they intend to march against institutionalized incompetence and disregard for Ghanaian lives.
May 9 was specifically chosen to commemorate the death of many Ghanaians at the Accra Sports Stadium 20 years ago during a march between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
However, when the Police was notified about the upcoming protest march, it said it could not permit it because the march could potentially increase the spread of coronavirus infections.
This is in spite of the fact that the organizers have made it clear they would take all necessary measures to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.
The Police has even vowed to go to court to enforce its stance if necessary.
Many have judged the Police stance as a calculated one to ensure the protest does not happen.
The Akufo-Addo is facing an onslaught of public discontent and disenchantment as a result of serious hardships in the system and the government’s recent announcement of a slew of taxes on an already overburdened citizenry.