Minority in Parliament calls for prosecution of Ayawaso violence perpetrators

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The Minority in Parliament has condemned the violent attacks in the house of the NDC parliamentary candidate in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election and urged the security agencies, particularly the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante Appietu, to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.

It urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, to call the men who allegedly perpetrated the violence to order.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who made the call in Accra, said the Minority would not recognise the winner of the by-election, Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, because she came through violent means.

“It was a blot on the conscience of our democratic evolution with what was observed and what was appropriately reported.

“The Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election encounted some violence culminating in the attack, an assault on an elected Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Samuel George.”

“We are, therefore, unable to accept even the outcome of the election as one which is credible and one which was free and fair,” he stressed.

With free elections, he said, the outcome, the process of the election and activities of the election must be free from fear.

Gunshots

The conduct of the polls was marred by a shooting incident at the residence of Mr Kwasi Delali Brempong, the NDC candidate, which resulted in injuries to 18 persons and an assault on an observer at one of the polling stations.

At the La Bawaleshie School Park, the NDC MP for Ningo Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George, who was observing the elections, was allegedly assaulted by some unidentified persons.

The incident also resulted in the opposition party directing its agents to withdraw from the various polling stations.

Violence in election

Mr Iddrisu, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale South, stressed that last Wednesday’s incident “cannot produce a Member of Parliament unless that MP wants to be a product of a violent outcome of an election.”

He said it showed even in the outcome of the elections that less than 20 per cent turn out of a voter population of 80,000, and indicated that the low turn out meant that the electorate were justifiably subjected to fear.

That violence, he said, undermined the right to vote and the right to be voted for which was inimical to the country’s democratic growth.

“We will not accept anything short of identifying and punishing the persons who are now behaving in a manner as if Ghana is governed by the rule and not the rule of law.

“We expect the security agencies, particularly the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to identify all those persons who were in the vehicle.

After all, the use of the smart phone can aid investigation”, he said.

Earlier, in the chamber, Mr Iddrisu had sought to raise the issue of the violence associated with the by-election but the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, did not allow that submission.

He called for consultations among leadership before the issue could be raised on the floor of Parliament.

Majority’s response

Responding, the NPP MP for Ablekuma West and Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, described the NDC as a hypocritical party which did not have the moral right to be speaking about violence.

“It is hypocritical of a group of people whose party was burst in violence and blood and mayhem unleashed on Ghanaians to today seek to be of the high moral grounds and point accusing fingers at the NPP which had traditionally borne the brunt of violence unleashed on the Ghanaian people by the NDC”, she said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said she had personally been a victim of the atrocities meted out on innocent citizens in the country by the NDC.

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