Former President John Mahama has warned government not to consider deploying masked security men in any election in Ghana again.
According to him, any attempt by the Akufo-Addo administration to use the men who were deployed in the Ayawaso by-election in future will be met with equal measure by the opposition National Democratic Congress.
“And we are serving notice: the Deputy Minister of National Security has said they were responsible for deploying them. We are serving them notice: they shall never deploy such a force in any election in Ghana again. We will resist it. You haven’t seen armed people running away before. When the power of the people come after you, you will run. We are for peace, but to enjoy peace, you must be vigilant and you must be alert. We must defend our democracy.
“This is the ‘all-die-be-die’ philosophy at work. We won’t accept ‘all-die-be-die’ in this country. And when the chiefs are advising, they should advise the ones who are unleashing violence, not me,” Mahama noted in the Volta region where he is currently campaigning to lead the NDC in the 2020 polls.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice has waded into the chaos that heralded the Ayawaso by-election calling on the Inspector General of Police to take steps to punish the masked individuals who inflicted mayhem on voters.
The violence at the polls led to the withdrawal of the main opposition NDC from the contest.
“The Commission received news of this development with great consternation considering the fact that Ghana has over the period enjoyed peace and stability before, during and after elections and so is of the view that this situation left unchecked would undermine the nation’s hard-earned democracy on the African continent.
“The Commission believes that the security arrangements for this by-election by the Ghana Police Service were inadequate, and the deployment of heavily armed, masked and hooded security personnel to the La Bawaleshie polling centre to harass, intimidate, and shoot indiscriminately into the electorate, harming some in the process, as criminal and dastardly acts that should not be allowed to go unpunished,” the Commission said in a statement.