We do not doubt the authority of the President to withhold theapproval for such protest marches but when the timing and palpable reasons for such an action do not makesense, the tendency to think the source is uncomfortable with the demonstration stands prominent.
Just why a President would order troops to fall into the streets, big packs on their backs, bayoneted firearms et al, when citizens are busy doing their rather stressful Xmas purchases in challenging times, can best be conjectured by the people of Ghana.
The no-love-lost relationship between the government and the opposition which is being enhanced by such acts of arbitrariness and impunity can only evoke disturbing thoughts.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, President John Mahama, has chosen the day on which his government was going to be confronted with a massive street protest to display the countryâ€™s arsenal on the principal streets of Accra.
The Carl Gustavs, base plates, amphibious landing equipment, scuds, Patriot missile launchers and what have you are billed to take over the streets of Accra and so the AFAG programme should not be entertained, was the order to the Greater Accra Police Regional Police Commander as it were.
Cynics are wondering whether the country is not on the verge of degenerating into a police state.
Such an unnecessary display of weaponry by the Armed Forces under the orders of the President seeks only to intimidate the citizenry, especially those questioning the legitimacy to his claim to the presidency, because of flawed and manipulated electoral figures.
Patrick Timbillah, the fine gentleman in charge of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, had earlier told his guests, the AFAG men when they came knocking on is door, to tarry a while as he met the Regional Security Committee to discuss their request to demonstrate.
His response, the order of the President, one of consternation, is one which would find space on the dark portion of the countryâ€™s political history without doubt. That is how far we have come.
It is instructive that the Presidentâ€™s action compelled the AFAG people to seek an option which came in the form of a forum on the same day.
With an equal effect as the demonstration – if not more – the forum saw the convergence of important personalities in the political spectrum whose eye-opening submissions painted a gloomy picture of the state of the countryâ€™s political health.