The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga says he disagrees with the position of the police that the frontage of the Bank of Ghana premises was a security zone and therefore the Minority in Parliament should not organise the planned protest march at the premises.
According to him, there has to be a law that defines the building as a security installation, adding that there is no law to that effect.
“First and foremost, it is a big lie that the central bank building is a security installation. There has to be a law that defines it as a security installation. There is no such law. I do not recall any single law that defines the central bank building as a security installation. It is a big lie. Anyone who tells you it is a security installation is lying to you”, he said in a radio interview with Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday, August 24, 2023.
The Minority has planned to end a street protest at the frontage of the Bank of Ghana head office and hand over a petition to the Governor, but the police say they are are ready to offer protection for the protesters but has proposed that they should rather end the march at Independence Square since the BoG premises was a security zone.
The police in a statement on Thursday, August 24, 2023, explained that the routes selected by the minority may endanger public safety adding that the Bank of Ghana office is a security zone.
But Mr. Ayariga in his interview with Citi FM insisted that the BoG building is not a security installation.
“We are not asking to go into the central bank, not even the premises of the central bank. Our letter is specific. We are marching to the frontage of the central bank. We expect the Governor and his deputies to come out and receive our petition. So, once the central bank is not a security installation, we can march there because we have a democratic right to march there.”
He also rejected calls by the police to accept alternative routes for the protest.
He said they would follow the earlier communicated route for the march because it is their democratic right.
He also advised the police to ensure the protection and safety of protestors on the day of the march.
“We are going to the central bank to hold the Governor accountable. The police should also be held accountable, in terms of the standard of responsibilities of the police service. They are to make sure that when citizens have the right to exercise their democratic rights, they are there to police them to exercise that democratic right. Not to adopt a lazy approach and say that the central bank is a security installation, so you cannot go there. Where else can we go?”
“The police have absolutely no power to give us directives in this regard. They cannot deny us the right to protest along the routes we have. If they do, it has to be a higher authority. It is just an attempt to frustrate the organization, but they will not succeed, because the demonstration will be along that route, and we will get to BoG’s frontage.” he added.