The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer hopeful Sylvester Adinam Mensah has faulted the Ghana Police Service and Electoral Commission for the violence that characterised Thursday’s by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra.
“Election security was a total failure,” Mr Mensah said in a piece on Friday.
Six people were shot at the Baweleshie polling centre of the constituency during the election Thursday, compelling the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to withdraw from the exercise citing safety concerns.
No deaths were recorded, the police said.
Voters were electing a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the area. The by-election was necessitated by the demise of the incumbent Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko last year. He represented the area on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The two main contenders for the seat were Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the spouse of the late MP on the ticket of the NPP and Delali Kwasi Brempong on the ticket of opposition NDC.
The NPP’s candidate was declared the winner of the by-elections. She obtained over 60% of the total valid votes cast in the polls boycotted by the opposition NDC.
Mr Mensah alleges that the Electoral Commission’s failure to postpone the elections in the areas affected by the violence was a “tacit endorsement of the messy developments which were premeditated and orchestrated to the advantage of the NPP which undermines public confidence.”
Below is the full write up
NDC Flagbearer Hopeful, Sylvester Adinam Mensah, writes on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election….
The IGP and the Ghana Police Service who are supposed to be the final line of defense for the citizenry were visibly helpless and hapless in the face of government sponsored vigilante attacks on unprepared and defenseless NDC members in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election yesterday – January 31, 2019.
Even though we had a by-election in just one, out of 275 constituencies in the country, the police could not assemble their men to enforce law and order, security and safety. This is extremely shocking, disconcerting and unacceptable!!
Is it the case that the IGP and the Ghana Police Service have been cowed into submission by NPP/Government’s vigilante forces? Is it the case that both the Police and the NPP vigilantes were working together and moving in the same police vehicles?
The vigilantes were armed with lethal weapons in the full glare of the law enforcement officers. If as it appears, the Police were working in tandem with the armed vigilantes, then they could be accused of complicity in the criminal conduct of the vigilantes.
Many more questions remain to be answered in this shameful, backward, lawless and very dangerous event that just unfolded
It is said that coming events cast their shadows. But for the timely intervention of the leadership of the NDC party, lots of lives could have been lost.
As part of the 50-member NDC delegation that met with the IGP and the Electoral Commissioner respectively, in the heat of the incidents, I dare say the institutions were momentarily helpless. It was obvious that the vigilantes were in control, a perception that remains to be disproved. The EC made no public statement to the police contingent under their “command” and who were at the polling stations at their invitation. On the part of the police they have since not arrested a single person despite the pictures and videos at their disposal.
I call for a thorough independent investigation to bring all the culprits involved in this despicable incident to justice.
The Electoral Commission could have postponed the elections in the areas affected by the violence to allow residents to vote later without the threat of violence but their tacit endorsement of the messy developments which were premeditated and orchestrated tothe advantage of the NPP, undermines public confidence. Election security was a total failure
We call on the international community to condemn this senseless, cowardly and barbaric government sponsored violence.
As we sympathize with the families of all the injured, I can assure that the NDC shall seek justice, whether early or late!
We call for calm within the ranks of the NDC and plead that our supporters do not resort to violence in self defence. We can win subsequent elections through non-violent means. We call for free and fair elections without intimidation
This country deserves the peace, unity, stability and harmony that its people are praying for.