The Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has stated that while the caucus disagrees with the decision of the police to stop their #OccupyBoG protest from accessing the precincts of the Bank of Ghana headquarters, they expect the police to allow the leadership and the MPs, to access the central bank and petition the governor.
This comes after the Ghana Police Service at a press briefing on Monday announced that it would allow the OccupyBoG protesters to march as far as the National Lottery Authority and make a U-turn towards the Independence Square where they are to terminate their procession.
The Service justified this decision by insisting that the area beyond the National Lottery Authority, particularly the Bank of Ghana premises, is a security zone and so allowing such a large procession into the vicinity could potentially pose a risk to national security.
Reacting to the Minority Leader’s proposition, security analyst, Dr. Ishmael Norman, disagreed.
According to him, the minority is asking for too much and urged them to accept the police’s boundaries.
“I think going to the Central Bank is totally a no-no. Can you do this in America? Fort Knox? You can go to Fort Knox? You can go to New York Treasury and then demonstrate there? I mean, please let’s be real. You have the right to express your will as a citizen, you have the right to criticize the government, you have the right to demonstrate.
“But there are certain specific areas that you should not be permitted to go at all and one of them is the central bank. So for me, I support the demonstration as a right of every citizen, part of their inalienable rights. However, the central bank is out of place. I am surprised that I am speaking for the Ghana Police because normally I don’t do this, but I think they’re demanding a bit too much and I think that should not be allowed,” he said.
But commenting on the issue, private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, said the police’s designation of a place as a security zone cannot be swallowed hook, line and sinker.
According to him, just because an area is designated a security zone does not mean it cannot admit a small procession delivering a petition.
“We cannot be agreeing with the police and saying once they say a place is a security zone it means a security zone is out of access. I think that’s completely wrong. Nowhere in the world is it established that a place that is designated as a security zone means you cannot take a demonstration there.
“In this case, they are not saying from what we have heard, that they are taking the demonstration there. They’re saying give some of the leaders the opportunity to go there, what’s wrong with that? What’s the biggest security zone than the white house?
“So please let’s not take the police’s word and simply say once they say it’s a security zone it means a security zone means that you cannot access the place,” he said.
The NDC and its sympathizers are to embark on the demonstration to demand the immediate resignation of the governors of the Bank of Ghana for what they describe as the gross mismanagement of Ghana’s fiscal space, which has significantly contributed to the bankruptcy of the Bank of Ghana and the resultant worsening economic conditions in the country.
According to Dr. Forson, should the October 3 protest fail to produce the expected results, the Minority will embark on other measures to get the central bank managers out of office.
“This is the first of a series of actions that we are going to take. We may repeat the demonstration. We may begin processes in parliament that will remove the Governor and the deputies. So, let’s start from tomorrow [Tuesday] and let’s see what happens,” he said.
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