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June 4 ‘armed’ demo : Captain Smart smacks Barker-Vormawor

Outspoken media personality Captain Smart, is worried about the contents of a letter in which a group he belongs to is seeking clearance to hold a three-day protest starting June 4.

The said letter has generated controversy after it emerged that the group had informed police that they will be employing their own security personnel who will be armed, in order to protect the marchers.

Commenting on the letter in an interview with 3FM on June 1, Captain Smart, who is one of the leaders of the group said he disagreed with the contents to the extent that it advocated violence which he was stiffly against.

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Captain Smart
Captain Smart and Oliver Barker Vormawor

“Yes, we want the right things to be done, things are not right in this country, but I don’t support violence and not in any way will I, want to have a blade in my hand to demonstrate; we did the first demonstration without even a stick… whoever wrote that letter is sick,” he stated.

He also lamented how the letter had ostensibly been authored without his signature or that of any of the other three conveners, he added that he expected the Police to have arrested whoever submitted that letter.

“…and then if I am a convener and you want to write a letter on behalf of all the conveners, courtesy demands that at least let me know the content of the letter you are sending on our behalf.

Asked who must have authored the letter, he pointed at fellow convener Oliver Barker Vormawor even though he was only tempted to believe the lawyer was behind it.

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“I am tempted to believe that [Oliver Barker Vormawor] is the originator of the said letter … I am tempted to believe that he is the one who wrote that letter. You can’t reach him now but I am tempted to believe that he is the originator of the said letter.

“And I think that this is criminal, it is against the supreme interests of this country, it doesn’t depict the demand of the youth” for fair play and accountability on behalf of the aged.

Background to planned June 4 protest

Leaders of the protest wrote to the Ghana Police Service seeking clearance to hold a three-day protest starting June 4th.

The conveners include journalists Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, and Captain Godsbrain Smart, one Benjamin Darko and lawyer cum activist Oliver Barker Vormawor.

The said letter noted that the protesters will employ the services of armed private security personnel during the march.

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They also communicated plans to picket at the Police headquarters and at the premises of the state broadcaster – where they expect to be allowed to express their concerns on LIVE TV.

The Police, however, described the protest as inconsistent with the Public Order Act.

A June 1, 2022 press statement signed by Chief Inspector Bright Kwabena Danso, Regional Public Affairs Unit, Ashanti Region, said the “nature and character” of the demonstration as intended was inconsistent with the Public Order Act.

The statement stressed, “we are, therefore, 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.

“We wish to assure the public that in the interest of public safety and security, the Police are putting in place all necessary measures to ensure that unauthorised persons do not march the streets with weapons,” it added.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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