Stop shielding perpetrators of Ayawaso West Wuogon violence – Mahama to Nana Addo
Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure persons responsible for the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence are sanctioned.
The former President believes that sanctioning of culprits is the first step towards ensuring peace during the 2020 general elections.
“As we go to the polls in 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo has a responsibility to secure the safety of all citizens and must resist the temptation to allow the use of violence to harm and intimidate innocent civilians as we observed last year during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.”
“On my part, I will continue to work for peace and I urge the President to do the same and as a first step, I suggest he stops shielding the perpetrators of the violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon. He must have them face the appropriate sanctions,” said the former President in his new year message to Ghanaians.
The NDC withdrew from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election following a shooting incident at the polls.Some masked men were caught on camera beating up civilians who did not resist arrest. The men, fully armed were also seen in the company of some police officers.
Some of these men believed to be party vigilantes of the ruling NPP were seen in T-shirts with the inscription ‘NSC’ which translates as the National Security Council of which the President of the Republic heads.
The government subsequently set up a committee to probe the incident.The Emile Short Commission of Inquiry was, among other things, mandated “to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.”
The Commission took testimonies of principal witnesses in the matter including the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George; the Commander of the National Security SWAT team, DSP Samuel Azugu; and the then NDC Parliamentary candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong.
The Commission interviewed over 20 other witnesses and persons of interest over a three-week period.The committee after its investigation presented its report to the President.
The government however rejected some of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry according to parts of the White Paper.The government said, “the report failed to address the first and most critical of the terms of reference of the Commission.”
“The failure to do so disables government from accepting in whole the findings of the commission,” the White Paper had said.
Meet EC’s standards during polls
Mr. Mahama also emphasized the need for the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission (EC) to maintain the high standards of professionalism set by her predecessors, during the 2020 general elections.
“The year 2020 is an election year and the eyes of the world will continue to be fixed on us as we go to the polls. We need to meet the highest standards set by previous electoral commissions and even better it.”