The death of former Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur nipped an intended demonstration by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the removal from office of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, in the bud.
The party had called on its numerous supporters and members of the public to gather at the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle yesterday, for the demonstration but that did not happen after news about the death of Mr Amissah-Arthur broke in the early hours of the day.
Mr Amissah-Arthur reportedly collapsed at a gym and was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Thursday fired the EC Chairperson and two of her deputies – Mr Amadu Sule and Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwah - upon the recommendations by a committee that was set up by the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate complaints brought against them.
The action by the President is in line with the provisions of Article 146(9) of the 1992 Constitution that requires him to act on the recommendations of the committee, which was also set up on the wings of Article 146(4).
However, a few hours after the announcement of the dismissal of the three top officials of the EC, the NDC organised a news conference to give a strong indication that the party would hit the streets of Accra to protest the decision of the President.
Members of the party shrugged off the caution given by the police that the planned demonstration was in violation of the Public Order Act.
Some supporters of the NDC at the Obra Spot
Some supporters of the party who had gathered for the demonstration were redirected to the Ridge residence of the former Vice-President.
When the Daily Graphic got to the Obra Spot around 7 a.m., about 20 persons were seen clad in red and carrying placards in readiness for the demonstration.
A member of the NDC Communication team, Mr Elikem Kotoko, and one member of the Montie Three, Mr Godwin Ako Gunn, were at the helm of affairs as they directed all people who were coming for the demonstration to head to Mr Amissah-Arthur’s residence.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Mr Kotoko said upon consultation with senior members of the NDC, a decision had been arrived at to postpone the demonstration.
“We want to show respect to our fallen hero who passed on rather painfully. We are asking all party members to solidarise with the family of the late former Vice-President.
“We are not calling off this demonstration because of the threat from the police but rather because of the death of a beloved father,” he stated.
He added that the party would come out with a new date for any action on the removal of the EC top officials.