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Opinions of Thursday, 10 June 2010

Columnist: Public News

AFAG Demo - The Fall-Outs

Yesterday, the NPP-aligned Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) staged a
peaceful demonstration in the capital town of their political world bank, Kumasi.
According to the leaders, the demonstration was to protest against the recent
increases in utility tariffs. Government had earlier explained that the increases
were needed to make sure that utility providers get what they want to provide better
AFAG, due to their cynical understanding of how politics should be run and the weird
assumption that the NPP is the only party to govern this country, had the unfettered
leeway to stage their protest.
Nobody issued threats against the demonstration. Nobody went to court to get an
injunction against the protest and nobody planned a counter demonstration. This is
President Mills’ Ghana!
Obviously, AFAG will realize that the intimidatory posture their government adopted
against the exercise of the right to protest has been stopped by the Mills
administration. The 1992 Constitution we are operating with guarantees that right to
demonstrate and no one can stop that.
The NDC government has not attempted to use the police to stop the protest as was
done during the eight year rule of the NPP under J.A. Kufuor.
Between 2001 and 2008, we recollect how they infiltrated the police hierarchy to the
extent that the law enforcement agency was only left with the Hobson’s choice of
pandering to their whims and caprices.
Additionally, they packed the courts with judges sympathetic to the NPP. This
resulted in High Court Judge, Justice Baffoe Bonney delivering a very bad judgment.
The judgement issued a fiat that anyone who wanted to demonstrate had to seek police
That was an ignominious judgement because the law does not say so.
The law only says that anyone who intends to demonstrate must give at least five
days notice to the police.
We are happy that nobody has so far been prevented by the Mills government from
demonstrating. AFAG has staged two demonstrations so far and not suffered any
attempt to stop it. This is real FREEDOM IN DEVELOPMENT. We support the right to
demonstrate anytime in accordance with the law.
The NPP must learn from President Mills quickly and use it as a working tool if they
ever have the opportunity to rule this country again.