The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the violence that characterised the by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon was the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) grand strategy for the 2020 elections.
Speaking at the ‘Aagbe wor’ demonstration Thursday, the NDC chief scribe said: “They are implementing their campaign promise and that campaign promise is to unleash violence and through violence cow everybody down… for them to impose themselves on Ghanaians and do whatever they want to do.”
“The leopard will not lose his spot because it has been immersed in water. The spots are still there. The all-die-be-die spots are still there,” Asiedu Nketia said.
Voters in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra on January 31 went to the poll to elect an MP for the area in a by-election necessitated by the demise of the incumbent MP Emmanuel Agyarko.
Agyarko’s widow Lydia Seyram Alhassan won the election which was marred by violence leading to the shooting of six persons believed to be supporters of the NDC.
The NDC withdrew from the election citing security concerns.
Akufo-Addo responsible for violence
The Minority in Parliament blamed President Akufo-Addo for the chaos that characterized the by-election.
Minority MP for Ningo Prampram Sam George who was monitoring the election for the NDC was brutally battered by an individual believed to be a member of one of the terror groups affiliated to the governing NPP.
The Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak told reporters in Accra on Tuesday President Akufo-Addo cannot absolve himself from the violence-laden by-election.
He said it was the minority’s strongest conviction the violence was state-orchestrated saying, “The Minority holds president Nana Akufo-Addo as commander in chief and chairman of the National security council fully responsible for the 31st January 2019 bloodbath.”
Three-member committee to probe violence
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) warned the violent nature of the by-election are dangerous signs ahead of the 2020 general elections.
“It will be extremely difficult for us as a nation to quench a fire of national violent unrest once it gets started.”
Meanwhile, the government has set up a three-member commission chaired by a former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Emile Short to within a month to unravel circumstances leading to the violence.
Other members of the presidential commission are Mrs Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong.
They have been mandated to: “(a) to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to, the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election on the 31st day of January 2019; (b) to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries; (c) to inquire into any matter which the Commission considers incidental or reasonably related to the causes of the events and the associated violence and injuries; and (d) to submit within one month its report to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.”
Meanwhile, a criminologist has called for the review of the terms of reference of the commission.
Dr Justice Tankebe said the scope of investigation of the commission must be expanded to cover other areas of operation of the police.
“I hope that the mandate given the Commission is changed a little bit. The first one should be an investigation into what happened at Ayawaso. The kind of security architecture we have can be the second mandate of the Commission,” Dr Tankebe told sit-in host Eric Mawuenya Egbeta.