The Director of Police Public Affairs, Superintendent Kwesi Ofori has been explaining the presence of scores of police personnel at the recently held press conference organized by the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG). Quite a sizeable number of policemen besieged the main Lorry Park near the 37 Military Hospital, where the pro-opposition group was holding a Press Conference to announce its next line of action after the expiration of an ultimatum to the government to reverse recent petroleum price increases. According to Supt. Kwesi Ofori, the police only went there only to protect life and property and not to intimidate or scare anybody. Speaking in an interview on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show, the Police P.R.O said the police was suspicious of the choice of venue for the Press Conference because such events are usually held in enclosed areas and it was quite unfamiliar for it to be held in an open space. “The police had an information that AFAG members was having a Press Conference in the 37 hospital lorry park so we moved in there to protect the market women, drivers and passengers at large because we all know that Press Conferences are usually held with journalist in halls and known places but an open space was quite suspicious,” he noted. He noted that the 37 Military Hospital Lorry Station is a strategic point and falls within geographical area of major infrastructures. “That place is a very strategic area, it is close to the 37 Military Hospital, Lands Commission…The Airport Runway ends almost at the same place and there are a whole lot of institutions and filling stations so it was weird for a Press Conference with that magnitude of people going on there,” he said. He said it was pointless on the part of AFAG to question their presence, since it is the mandate of the police to be at every public event to avert any form of violence. To him, AFAG’s Press Conference could be equal to a public event like a rally. “In the Public Order Law, when you are going to do something in public, you have to inform the police and what AFAG did is equal to a public event like holding a rally and there were a lot of people around. They shouldn’t think that everybody present at the meeting was in support of what they were saying and if anything goes wrong, it will affect everybody,” he explained.
Source: Beatrice Adepa Frempong/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana