The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah has expressed his displeasure with the derogatory captioning of the Jubilee House by leaders of the pressure group, Democracy Hub.
Democracy Hub, organisers of the demonstration scuppered by the police in Accra on Thursday, had christened the protest to occupy the precincts of the seat of government, Jubilee House as #OccupyJulorBiHouse, with ‘julorbi’ being a parody of the official name of the presidency in the Ga language that loosely translates as ‘the child of a thief’.
But Mr Ahiagbah who defended the rights of citizens to demonstrate, said he disagreed with the derogatory characterisation of the pesidency.
“I don’t agree with the derogatory caption of the Presidency by the organizers of the demonstration, but impeding their right to peaceful assembly is an affront to democracy, plain and simple.”
The NPP Communications Director pointed out that during President Akufo-Addo’s presidency, there have been numerous peaceful demonstrations, including the Arise Ghana demo and the Kume Preko demo, which he said did not record such events as happened on Thursday, and wondered why anybody would think that the government was behind the disruption of Thursday’s demonstration.
“This is not the publicity we need on a day such as this…Allow!,” he said, in apparent condemnation of the police action.
He clarified that the interference and arrest of protestors who participated in the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration by the Ghana Police Service is against the rights of the people.
In a post on Thursday, September 21, Mr Ahiagbah emphasised that “the people’s ability to engage in peaceful demonstrations is an inherent democratic right.”
According to him, any decision to obstruct citizens from exercising this fundamental right is simply unacceptable.
The ability of the people to demonstrate is an inherent democratic right. Therefore, the decision to stand in the way of citizens’ exercise of this fundamental right is unacceptable. I don’t agree with the derogatory caption of the Presidency by the organizers of the…
— Richard Ahiagbah (@RAahiagbah) September 21, 2023
Democracy Hub said the demonstration was to press home their demand for a reduction in the cost of living, an end to corruption, and improved governance, among others.
But during the early hours of Thursday, September 21, the police took into custody 49 demonstrators, alleging they had indulged in an unlawful assembly and violation of the Public Order Act.
The police noted that the arrested persons disregarded court documents served on the organisers, Democracy Hub, to refrain from embarking on the planned demonstration.
A section of Ghanaians who took to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to react to the arrests, said that the ruling NPP government and the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare played a central role in orchestrating the police’s actions during the demonstration.
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