Street Protests: Children join demo in Tamale
• They marched to make demands
Eight-Year-Old, Zulia Yakubu, was among over 100 children who took part in the recent ‘Fix the Country’ demonstration which took place in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.
The Children between ages seven and 12, some with placards, dressed in red apparel and arm bands joined their parents mid-morning during a harsh harmattan weather to add their voices to the concerns being raised.
It was the first time children were participating in a street protest in the area.
Mr. Ahmed Salifu, who brought two of his children to join the demonstration said: “Children are future leaders and they need to start expressing themselves on issues affecting them before they become responsible leaders.”
According to him, children needed to know their rights and register their displeasure in a safe and peaceful manner.
He pleaded with security personnel to respect the right of children to “speak up and be heard” and protect them from violence, where it became necessary for them to stage a protest.
Mr. Stephen Effah, a Communications Manager at Savana Signatures, a non-governmental organisation, in Tamale also subscribed to the idea of giving children the opportunity to meaningfully add their voice to matters that affect their future.
Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child indicates that “Children can join or set up groups or organisations, and they can meet with others, as long as this does not harm other people.”
An officer at the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate of the Ghana Police Service in Tamale also noted that children have the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including peaceful protest.
He urged the leaders, conveners and participants in public protests to maintain peace and order, adding that children and adolescents must be guided and protected at such gatherings.
From Geoffrey Buta, Tamale