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General News of Monday, 6 June 2022

Source: ghanaguardian.com

#FixtheCountry leaders don't deserve our support! - Kwesi Pratt

Kwesi Pratt Jnr Kwesi Pratt Jnr

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has questioned the logic in the FixtheCountry conveners' demand to carry weapons as part of their demonstration which was scheduled on June 4th.

FixtheCountry leader, Oliver Baker-Vormawor and broadcasters Captain Smart and Okatakyie Afrifa have come under intense criticisms over their intended "armed" demonstration.

The group, in a letter to the Police announcing their intent to demonstrate, asked for permit to take weapons along with them, use private security and be given a slot on Ghana Television (GTV) to address the nation.

Letter

"We will bring our own security company to provide protection to demonstrators. All weapons held by demonstrators or by the contracted security personal will be for personal protection only; and all weapons will be duly permitted in accordance with the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972 (NRCD 9) e) Proposed route and destination: We expect that the Demonstrators will gather at Circle.

"The procession will move from Circle to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, where the Protestors will make a demand a slot on GTV to speak directly to the Nation and lay out our grievances, in accordance with Article 55(11), which guarantees fair opportunity to Ghanaians to present their programmes to the public through equal access to the state-owned media," parts of the letter said.

Restriction

But the Ghana Police Service has secured an injunction from the Accra High Court against the intended demonstration.

“After hearing the application [on Friday, May 3], the Court granted an order to restrain the organisers, their agents, assigns and whoever is claiming through them from embarking on the armed demonstration as had been intended,” the Police said in a statement on Friday.

Apology

After public outcry over the group's demands, some of the leaders of the Movement have backtracked, denying knowledge of the letter.

In a statement issued on Thursday, June 2, 2022, they rendered an apology saying, "we unreservedly apologize to the public, especially our supporters. We wish to reiterate that #Fixthecountry is a movement committed to peaceful democratic accountability".

"The notification of the demonstration made reference to private security arrangements to protect demonstrators. We also informed the Police that we will ensure that any weapons held by the private security company or other demonstrators will be legally registered under the relevant law. In our attempt to strategically highlight policing brutality and other problematic crowd control tactics, we chose an advocacy approach that made some people uncomfortable," they added.

Pratt Rebukes FixtheCountry Activists

Addressing the contents of the apology letter, Mr. Pratt said it is absurd for one to request permit to use guns, licenced or not, during demonstration.

He asked; "can a licenced gun not hurt or kill a person?".

"It is not allowed, they made a mistake with this one and does not deserve support, I think the group has to slow down and learn."

He wondered when did it became okay to embark on demonstration wielding licenced weapons.

"What has happened in Ghana that we need to pick guns to the streets?...The fact that the gun is licenced doesn't mean you can go around displaying it everywhere," he snapped while discussing the issue on Peace FM's "Kokrokoo" programme.

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