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Coalition of Concerned University postpones protest amidst claims of police intimidation

The leadership of the Coalition of Concerned University Students (CoCUS) has for the second time postponed its planned demonstration to protest against the ongoing strike action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

The Coalition said in a press release that the change in date is because of “some form of intimidation from the Police Service.”

“The leadership of the Coalition of Concerned University Students has noted with grave concern and despair, the deliberate attempt by government, through the Ghana Police Service, to frustrate its intended demonstration in the most unwelcoming manner.” the statement said.

According to the February 8 statement, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command violated the agreed modalities for the demonstration. “At 11:00pm on February 7 on the premises of the University of Ghana, the national and regional leadership of the Ghana Police Service disclosed to them that, the routes for the demonstration which had been previously approved may have to be changed.”

“The sudden directive has compelled the coalition to postpone the demonstration as changing the routes for the demonstration on such notice would undermine the mobilization efforts of the coalition.” the statement added.

This is the Coalition’s second postponement. The first announced date clashed with an ECOWAS summit, which brought heads of West African states to Accra in the aftermath of Burkina Faso’s recent coup. According to the coalition, the reason for the second postponement was the notice to change the earlier approved route, from Okponglo to Jubilee House, at the last minute.

The Coalition also stated that the police has threatened to arrest demonstrators and convenors who plan to attend. The officers’ presence on campus to serve the notice, according to CoCUS, “shows the level of desperation and vile agenda to frustrate the demonstration.”

The Coalition has however decided to join various CSOs, youth groups and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to stage the ‘Yentua’ demo on Thursday to register their displeasure.

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