COVID-19 protocols now political tools for African leaders – Security expert
Security analyst, Adib Sani, has said that some African leaders have resorted to using the COVID-19 protocols to harass and intimidate others who wish to highlight the ills of society.
His comments come after some Ghanaians questioned the decision of the police to allow the NDC to demonstrate while preventing the #FixTheCountry campaigners from protesting; citing the ban on public gathering.
According to Adib, the use of COVID-19 protocols to prevent demonstrations in Ghana and other African countries has become the norm.
He tells Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show: “COVID-19 protocols have become more like political tools. This has been consistent with a number of reports that I have had to peruse with other countries like Gabon and Uganda. Think of Bobi Wine and how he was treated in the name of breaking covid protocols.
There are so many countries who have held elections since the beginning of the disease yet use the same disease to stifle opposition and the Human Rights court has that report”.
Narrowing the conversation to Ghana, the security expert observed that in some events such as the Pneumatica Night and Sir John’s funeral, it seemed “COVID-19 was unable to attend and so people were able to let their guards down but when young people who do not have strength anywhere want to demonstrate the government cows them into submission and it is a simple case of bullying”.
The NDC youth wing had notified the police that it will organize a street protest dubbed ‘ A March for Justice ‘ on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, to demand justice for all persons killed or brutalized by the various security agencies in the country.
The police had earlier declined an invitation to provide security for the protest on the basis that COVID-19 restrictions were still in force.
But the NDC insisted on embarking on the protest, rubbishing the reasons for the denial of their request.
Subsequently, the Ghana Police Service promised to give the NDC protesters protection for the scheduled demonstration.
This, however, is in sharp contrast with the case of the #FixTheCountry demo where the police filed an ex-parte motion at the High Court against the planned protest.
Unhappy with the development, the group took the issue to the Supreme Court, where a five-member Supreme Court panel nullified the May 6, 2021 injunction order.