Vociferous journalist, Bridget Otoo has lashed out at the Ghana Police Service for what she described as their “irrational colonial, brutish and unprofessional” attitude.
The journalist joined the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest Thursday, September 21, which turned nightmarish as protesters were arrested and taken to various police stations.
According to her, she went to Regional Police Command and upon reaching there, “a parent was in agony of her son missing because the son had been picked up by the police and taken in there.”
She continued her narration saying, tried finding out where the boy whose name she gave as Kevin Boakye, was, and tried reaching to her reporter who was reportedly at the venue to cover the protest but the police started pulling the male protesters and unfortunately, pulled her as well, ripping her dress in the process.
“A man came out from the police headquarters and started charging and pulling the male protesters. The police have stolen even a phone from a protester… the person was not using it, they stole it, they attacked the person.”
“While they were pulling, they were pulling me along, and I was wondering what I was doing , because I am not strong, I can’t fight any police officer, they will beat me and get away with it and that’s ok, they do that all the time. 8 people died in the elections, they’ve not done anything about it and that’s ok. so I didn’t want to be killed , at least I wanted to live to tell my story. They ripped my dress apart and I’m on Tv in my bra, not that I wanted to, but because these Ghana police service are irrational and unprofessional and frankly that colonial, brutish method needs to stop.” She lamented in an interview with Accra-based Joy Fm’s Maxwell Agbagba at the scene of the protest.
The #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest was organised by Democracy Hub, a group of young activists demanding action on the economic crisis and corruption the country is saddled with.
But things went sour when protestors, some journalists including a BBC reporter and cameraman as well as some passers by were arrested by the police, with the justification that the protestors defied a court injunction, a claim disputed by the protestors.
The arrests and the manner in which it was done have been criticized by members of the public, with concerns raised about the infringement on the constitutional right to protest and the use of excessive force by the police.
Bridget Otoo believes if for nothing at all, the demonstrators should be allowed to exercise their right.
“I want people to be able to speak, the same way Nana Addo was allowed to speak freely. I want the kids who are protesting to be able to sit in the middle of the flagstaff house because it has happened before. They sat right in front of the flagstaff house with their iPads on their laps when they protested back in 2015/2016. If nothing is going to get fixed, allow them to protest because it’s their right to do so.”