Conveners for the Fix The Country Movement have apologised to the public for planning to embark on an armed demonstration on June 4.
In a press release dated, June 2, the conveners admitted that their approach to addressing policing brutality and other problematic crowd control tactics is flawed.
They noted that they take seriously all the concerns and subsequent backlash from the public on hearing about the armed demonstration.
“We unreservedly apologize to the public, especially our supporters. We wish to reiterate that #Fixthecountry is a movement committed to peaceful democratic accountability,” the conveners wrote.
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“In this moment of clarity, we wish to recommit to actively ensuring that our activities and all attendees will be kept safe. We also recommit to continue fighting for victims of Police brutality who we intend to keep at the centre of our work,” they added.
This comes after #FixTheCountry served a notice to the Police on their decision to embark on a demonstration against the Agyapa deal, cessation of the Achimota Forest Reserve and not to tamper with the country’s security.
In their notice, they requested to be allowed to contract private security personnel to protect the demonstrators.
Among other things, they also notified the Police that the demonstrators and the contracted private security personnel will be armed with weapons.
Also, they stated that the armed demonstrators will picket at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Ghana Police Headquarters.
Again, at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), they will demand to speak directly to the nation on GTV and lay out their grievances.
But the Police in a statement noted that they are unable to provide security for a demonstration which is in flagrant violation of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 49) and has the potential to result in a breach of public order and public safety.
According to the Police, they have reached out to the organisers to reconsider their proposal and work with the Police towards the organisation of a lawful, peaceful and successful demonstration.
The demands of the conveners for the demonstration also raised some eyebrows on social media with many people condemning the group.
But, explaining why they were embarking on such a demonstration convener Okatakyie Afrifa told JoyNews’ Evans Mensah that the movement cannot trust the Ghana Police Service to oversee their demonstration on June 4, without harming them.
Mr. Afrifa noted that in the past, unarmed demonstrators have been shot at by the Police who are expected to protect them and nothing has been done about it.
Hence, the FixTheCountry Conveners, want to protect themselves, so there is no repeat of the incidents at Ejura, Ayawaso, and Nkoranza among others, he stated.
But, the Fix The Country conveners in their press release acknowledged that their demands for the demonstration was problematic.
“We intend to repair and rebuild public trust by first holding ourselves accountable to the highest democratic principles. Importantly, this includes listening and taking seriously, criticisms. As our elders say, dee otwa sa nnim se n’etsi akyea (the one drawing the line doesn’t know the back is crooked).”
They added that there will be public conversations to engage further concerns that will help shape #FixTheCountry.
“Thank you for your support. We appreciate and respect the criticisms you offer to help strengthen our struggle for a just and fair society,” the conveners added.