A hotheaded Presidential Staffer and aide to President Akufo-Addo, Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, on Wednesday, angrily charged at the security detail of the First Lady, Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo, for not shooting and killing, Reginald Sekyi-Brown, for displaying a flyer in front of the first lady, when she was addressing an event at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
A final-year doctor of pharmacy student of the University of Ghana, Legon, was detained on Wednesday at the Korle bu police station for allegedly stalking the first lady, with a placard protesting the failure of the Akufo-Addo government to open the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
The First Lady, was delivering a speech at a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of a one-storey Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) when the incident happened.
Responding to calls by civil society organizations, pastors, Imams and the general public on the police to release the protestor, Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, on his Facebook wall, angrily expressed his disappointment in the police officers, who arrested the young man, for not shooting and killing him instantly.
The outrageous post exposes the intolerance that is creeping into the Akufo-Addo government.
He wrote “The First Lady was delivering her speech and you decided to get up, walk boldly and deliberately her and you expect the security personnel to sit down and clap for you? You are lucky this is Ghana, you would have been shot dead in other jurisdiction. It’s about time, we tell some of this social media commentators that they are not above the law”.
Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, has anger management issues. Media report claim sometime in November last year, during his birthday at Achimota, a suburb in Accra, he pulled a gun for an unknown reason, when he lost his temper, a charge he later denied on Happy FM.
The same Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, is on record to have had an angry altercation with suspended General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Nima residence of the then presidential candidate of the NPP Nana Akufo-Addo, sometime in April 2014.
He had accused Mr. Agyapong of making his life unbearable, because he is a Ga. He later revealed that, Kwabena Agyapong, harbours some hatred for Nana Akufo-Addo.
The young man, popularly called Aboo, who was a member of the party’s 2012 Election Campaign Team in-charge of social media site; facebook , was first to go public and narrate the ordeal he went through, because Mr. Agyapong refused to shake hands with him.
Speaking on Peace FM, Nii Tagoe, revealed that Mr. Agyapong arrived at Nana Addo’s residence and was exchanging pleasantries and handshakes with the people around.
I deemed it right to step aside and allow him greet the elders first before doing same with him. So what I did was to step aside and wait for my turn. When he got to my end, he refused to shake my hand and I drew his attention. But surprisingly, he replied that you don’t have to draw my attention before I greet you. From that point, tempers rose and we exchanged heated words.
Mr. Sekyi-Brown, had raised a “OPEN UGMC” placard at Rebecca Foundation Programme in protest against government’s refusal to open the facility for public use.
Many Ghanaians, have started protesting vehemently against government’s delay in opening the facility. The call has dominated social media discussions with people positing different flyers calling on government to open the facility for public use.
Prof. J.H Kwasi Prempeh, described the arrest and detention ridiculous and called on the police to release him immediately.
On his Facebook wall he wrote “STOP THE NONSENSE AND RELEASE THE FINE GENTLEMAN IMMEDIATELY”.
Prof. Kwaku Azar, also condemned the arrest and called on the police to release the young man immediately.
A person’s right to air grievances without fear of retribution or fake arrest is fundamental to democracy in Ghana and in all other democracies. Free expression of one’s belief is encoded in Ghana’s constitution Article 21(1) (d) of Chapter 5.
The 25-year-old student, Mr. Sekyi-Brown, was arrested after he had moved from the audience holding a placard with the inscription: “#OPEN UGMC NOW” and stood in front of the First Lady.
He was taken to the Korle Bu Police Station, interrogated and released on bail. The police, have told the media, he would be invited for questioning as and when need be.
The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Afia Tenge, confirmed that Mr Sekyi-Brown was picked up for alleged misconduct.
She said, he was arrested by the escorts of the First Lady, who handed him over to the Korle Bu District Police Command.
At the Korle Bu Police Station, she said, the police conducted a search on Mr Sekyi-Brown and interrogated him.
“They found a Dell laptop, an iPad and an iPhone on him,” said Mrs Tenge.
Mr Sekyi-Brown, began a campaign to raise 2,500 signatories to push for the opening of the UGMC.
The campaign is aimed at catching the eye of President Nana Akufo-Addo to intervene in the opening of the UGMC, which was inaugurated in November 2016. A total of 1,561 signatories had been gathered so far.
In a petition posted online and addressed to the President, Mr Sekyi-Brown, said “we cannot continue to worship this medical centre in the full glare of a health system saddled with only 55 functioning ambulances, increasing neonatal death, overcrowded hospitals and a rogue drug peddling cycle catalysed by the inadequacy of healthcare centres across the country”.
It said, Ghana had an “unpardonable patient to doctor, pharmacist and allied health science professionals ratio, which is at total variance with the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and should the prevailing conditions persist, it would be almost impossible for Ghana to ever attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
“Mr President, the University of Ghana Medical Centre is a novel concept, which is in tandem with the Ghanaian dream of a Ghana Beyond Aid and the attainment of universal health coverage.
“Sir, unlike other healthcare providing centres, the University of Ghana Medical Centre brings on board a critical medical care force, a medical training centre, in addition to solid research, which we critically need as a country and a strategic geographical accessibility site especially for our peculiar thick traffic situation in the capital city,” the petition noted.
It urged the President to expedite action, since the operation of the medical centre was in the national interest.