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The worst affected victim of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election gun brutalities by operative of the National Security; Ishawu Yaro has vehemently debunked government claim that it has compensated him for the gun wounds he sustained in his leg, leaving him permanently deformed.
The ex-footballer, told The Herald, government has paid absolutely no money to him, contrary to claims by a Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide that compensation packages, have been presented to them.
According to the now physically challenged National Democratic Congress (NDC) member,who is also a husband and a father of four, now practically lives on the benevolence of the former President and flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, nothing has been offered him by the Akufo-Addo government.
Earlier this week, the Deputy Minister, claimed that he was aware; government was implementing the recommendations of the Emile Short Presidential Commission of Enquiry and stated emphatically that the victims have been compensated to make up for the permanent injuries they suffered during the conduct of the by-election on January 31, 2019, which got Lydia Sayram Alhassan into Parliament.
Making a submission on the Kanda-based TV3 on Monday in the wake of the clash between the supporters of the main political parties – the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Pius refuted claims that government, has failed to implement the Commission’s recommendations, insisting he was in the know the Akufo-Addo administration, is implementing them.
The government, through its White Paper rejected 58 percent of the recommendations made by the fact-finding commission. Government argued that, the report failed to address the core terms of reference of the Commission, hence its rejection of most of the recommendations.
Many have warned the failure of government to punish those who were recommended in the Commission will embolden many to take the law into their hands, especially before during and after the December elections.
The Deputy Minister, who was on the show with the NDC’s Member of Parliament (MP) for North Dayi, Rockson Dafeamakpor said, it was untrue claim that government only issued a White Paper on the report without implementing as directed by the eminent statesmen and woman consisting a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Emile Short, a former Inspector General of the Police (IGP) Opoku Kwarteng and Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, now Supreme Court judge. But when The Herald placed a call to Yaro from his New Fadama base to confirm whether or not he has received the said compensation as claimed by the former Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, with pain in his voice, Yaro, said there is no iota of truth in the claim.
He posited that, the claim was unfounded as no government official, has even visited him let alone being offered something for his unending pain and suffering. “Even 10 Cedis, nobody has given me. Nothing, not even a pesewa. Nobody has given me”, he said totally disputing Pius’ claim.
Asked what has been the response from government since the recommendations were made and the report submitted to President Akufo-Addo over a year ago, Yaro told The Herald that, “Government has not said anything since the day it was given the report.The government has not sent anybody to me too. I have not seen anybody from NPP coming to visit me from the Office of the President”.
He revealed, since he was disabled by the shooting of the so-called National Security operatives, it is the former President John Dramani Mahama, some others in the NDC and his family, who have been supporting him financially.
He mentioned in particular, contributions of the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and the Zongo Coordinator, Alhaji Kulu Younga.Referring to the Deputy Minister, Yaro said “he lied, that not true”.
“Only the former President [John Mahama] is taking care of me and doing everything and the NDC. And my family they have been supporting me small small, taking care of me because I have four children so you see? It’s not that easy that why I said it’s not everything I can say. I have been brought home about none months ago”.
On his state of health after he was discharged from the 37 Military Hospital in Accra about nine months ago, Yaro said, the incident has greatly affected his entire life adding, the pain in the leg is still severe and unbearable because of the nature of the injury.
He revealed the graphic nature of his condition, saying all the bones in that part of his leg, were damaged and so, they were removed in the cause of the many surgeries he underwent in the better part of 2019.
“It is not easy now, still in pain. There’s no bone inside my leg. I think there’s some six inches gap. They removed the bones from my leg during the surgery. The bones and veins everything was damaged. They were scattered so they decided to put other bones [in there] but they couldn’t get it to fix it unless abroad.
So that is what the former President promised me, to take me abroad, but right now, they are very busy unless after the elections. So Pius or whatever, all of them are lying, because I am in the house now feeling pains.
Up till now, I cannot sleep, because the veins are pulling me all the time when I am sleeping, because there’s nothing inside the leg, only metal. Metal is supporting the leg, so I cannot put my leg on the ground”, he revealed.
Yaro continued “I don’t use wheelchair but clutches to come outside of my house. If I sit in my room too, I just put pillow and chair together so that I will raise my leg because if I put my leg down, it will swell. That is what I have been passing through and somebody is sitting somewhere saying that, they have compensated me. Nothing has been given me”.
Yaro, guessed his party may have made effort on his behalf to pursue the compensation package, but said knowing the difficult nature of the Akufo-Addo administration; it has resulted to nothing.”I am sure my party has been writing to the government but you know this government more than me they won’t do it. If my memory serves me right I have had eight surgeries. I have been managing with support from my brother, sister and mother”.
Touching on the involvement and contribution of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Sayram Alhassan, who was accused of benefitting from the atrocities, Yaro said since he was discharged, he has seen her only once in his house.
“She came to visit me [hospital] and there was some small issue, so when we were going into 2020, I think in December , she came to my house when it was about a year to the anniversary when she knew that it was approaching one year, and begged me for what happened at Ayawaso”.
Again, according to him, Lydia who became a lawmaker as a result of the sudden demise of her husband Emmanuel Kyeremanten Agyarko in late 2018, met with him in one of his routine visits to the 37 Hospital to dress his wounds, he was informed that the MP, had come there to see him.
He said though they met, she only told him she was there to pay his bills, but he never saw the said money and so can’t tell if indeed she paid or not. He recalled the visit was in December 2019, about a month to the one year anniversary.
“Yes that was when the incident happened. I heard from her when I came back home and went back to the hospital and she came there to pay me a visit. She told me she was coming to pay my bills, which I don’t know whether she paid or not, because nobody gave me money”, he added
This comes months, after the convener of a group of wives whose spouses became victims of violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, Madam Amina Umar, petitioned government for justice and appropriate compensation.
She said, their husbands were shot at without provocation by masked National Security operatives and demanded their arrest and prosecution.
“Our husbands are also citizens of the land entitled to all privileges spelt out in the 1992 constitution, which includes the administration of justice in all fairness, we demand criminal prosecution of the operatives involved in the violence that acted against the laws of the country as well as rights of our husbands and also demand appropriate compensation,” Amina Umar stressed.
The petition which was co-signed by Ayisha Yaro and Amina Abdallah on behalf of the other women, was presented to Dr. Zakariah Afisah, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on behalf of the Minister, Mrs Cynthia Morrison to be handed over to the president.
The Justice Emile Short Commission presented its report to President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the Jubilee House.
He established the Commission under Article 278 of the 1992 Constitution, to inquire into the events and associated violence that occurred during the by-election.Receiving the report, President Akufo-Addo said the findings and recommendations would be given the needed attention.
However, a government White Paper on the Commission’s report, says the Commission, failed to achieve its core terms of reference and among other things, rejected some recommendations of the commission, including one for the prosecution of an individual who assaulted Ningo Prampram MP, Sam Nettey George.
The White Paper, also rejected a recommendation for a Minister of State, Bryan Acheampong, to be reprimanded.
On January 31, 2019, some heavily armed and masked National Security operatives led by DSP Samuel Kwadwo Azugu, stormed the La Bawaleshie home of Delali Kwasi Brempong, the NDC candidate for the by-election and shot into the crowd of unarmed civilians and during the melee, 18 people sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to hospital.
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