July 22, 2024

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, hundreds of Ghanaians turned up for the “Hands Off Our Hotels” protest.

The march across principal streets of Accra was to demonstrate against the reported sale of majority shares of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in some hotels to Rock City Hotel, owned by the Agric Minister, Bryan Acheampong.

The almost peaceful protest was marred by an altercation between the police and the protesters, with some of the protesters being pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed by law enforcement officers.

A video from the protest, sighted by GhanaWeb, shows the moment one of the officers raised his hand above a human shield created by the police and released the pepper spray into a crowd of charging protesters.

It is not clear what may have triggered the protesters to charge at the police; however, the lead convenor of the demonstration, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, described the police as having exhibited bad faith.

“The police demonstrated bad faith, and I have told the regional police commander, ‘You don’t invite me to your office on June 12, and we agree on the route, modalities, and terminating point. You told me clearly that it would end at Christ the King Parish, and it was communicated to the demonstrators,'” he told Starr News in an interview.

According to the North Tongu MP, things could have been worse if the protesters had not demonstrated with maturity in response to the unnecessary provocation by the police.

“Only God knows what would have happened. I have told the police hierarchy that when we return to parliament, they will receive a nice message from us about why they demonstrated such bad faith and why they engaged in the needless provocation,” Mr. Ablakwa added.

Mr. Ablakwa further stated that the minority would use parliamentary processes to demand accountability from the Ghana Police Service.

Watch video of the clash below:

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