Illegality of protests shouldn’t lead to unjustified use of force – NCCE chides security agencies

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has lashed out at the nation’s law-enforcement agencies following the poor crowd control tactics exhibited during the protests at Ejura on Tuesday, June 29.

Military officers deployed to control the irate crowd were seen directly firing live ammunition, leading to the death of two and injury of four of the protesters.

The NCCE described the development as “unfortunate and disturbing”.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, June 30, Chairman Josephine Nkrumah stressed that the law-enforcement agencies are supposed to maintain law and order and protect the citizenry.

“Unfortunately, growing public perception about their role is eroding confidence in these agencies,” Ms Nkrumah stated.

“The illegality or otherwise of citizens’ protest should not lead to unjustified and unwarranted use of force against unarmed citizens of Ghana.” 

The NCCE chief said elements within the law enforcement agencies must not be perceived to be impediments to the country’s thriving democracy.

She said they must not redefine violent extremism by their own acts but must uphold professionalism.

She also urged “protesters to equally abide by law and order and act responsibly within the remit of the law whilst exercising their rights”.

The NCCE Chairman is calling for an in-depth investigation into the matter “and entreats the heads of law enforcement agencies particularly the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Army, whose officers are alleged to have committed this dastardly act, to take swift action against the perpetrators in the Ejura incident”.

She charged well-meaning Ghanaians to speak against the Ejura brutalities and the need for all to refrain from acts that could worsen the already volatile situation in the township.

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