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NDC boycotts swearing-in of Agyarko's wife; calls her bloody widow

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Wed, 6 Feb 2019 Source:

The newly elected MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Seyram Alhassan taking the oath of office as NDC MP displays the obscene placard whiles leaving the chamber

The newly elected New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, was yesterday sworn into office after winning the by-election in the constituency amidst strong protest by the Minority in Parliament.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, led by the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, walked out of the chamber of Parliament before the new MP was sworn into office.

In what could be described as defying rules of indecency, the Minority members, clad in black, displayed placards with the inscription “Bloody Widow” before walking out of the august house.

Before the walkout, the Minority Chief Whip claimed the by-election was characterised by ‘brutal violence’ which led to the maiming of some supporters of the opposition NDC, and as a result refused to be part of the inauguration of a legislator produced from a ‘violent election.’

However, Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) members hooted at their colleagues, as they walked out of the chamber.

They described the Minority’s action as ‘very shameful and affront to democracy.’

Maltreating a widow

The Deputy Majority Leader and NPP MP for Dome/Kwabenya, Adwoa Safo, who was obviously incensed by the ‘disgusting’ behaviour of the NDC members, said they were maltreating a widow who has been elected to become an MP.

He said the Minority’s walkout is not based on any reasonable justification, adding that the MP-elect satisfied all constitutional requirements to be sworn into office.

She explained that the Minority had set a bad precedent, which could affect them in the future.

Woman of Substance

She affirmed that “the new MP is a woman of substance and very courageous, looking at all the challenges and obstacles that she surmounted as a widow.”

The deputy majority leader described the new MP as a hard-working woman with good heart and rich experience in the private sector.

She expressed hope that she would bring her experience as private businesswoman to bear on the work of Parliament.

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who swore in the new MP, was not happy with the action of the Minority, saying even though the Minority cited security reasons for its boycott of the swearing-in, the ceremony should not have been used for the boycott to set a bad precedent for Parliament.

The elated women MPs from the Majority, who took turns to congratulate her, pledged to support her in Parliament.

A large number of party supporters and family members, including the national chairman of the party, Freddie Blay, were in the chamber to witness the swearing-in ceremony.

Walk to the Police

Immediately they left the precincts of Parliament House after the boycott, the NDC MPs embarked on a 2.3-kilometre walk to the Police Headquarters to lodge formal complaint with the police for the ‘brutalities’ meted out to their colleague Sam George, MP for Ningo-Pampram during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

They were received by the Director of Operations at the headquarters, DCOP Alex Mensah and a statement from Sam George was consequently taken.

Addressing the press later, the minority leader said “yesterday’s action is the beginning of a series of democratic actions to protest against state-sponsored violence and terror that was unleashed on innocent and unarmed citizens, including our colleague, Samuel Nartey George, during the January 31 by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon.”

“As legislators, we do not only condemn the despicable terror of last Thursday, we are resolved to rise up to our obligations under Article 41(b) of the 1992 Constitution that calls on every citizen to uphold and defend this Constitution and the law’”

He said they decided to protest yesterday in order not to give credence or legitimacy to the “bloody election” and subsequent swearing-in of the MP-elect.

“We reiterate our refusal to recognize the illegitimate winner of the bloody by-election as declared by the incompetent and complicit Electoral Commission,” he said.

They even blamed the President Akufo-Addo for supervising what they claimed to be “broad daylight barbarism on the very Ghanaians he was elected to protect.”

“We shall continue to demand concrete action no matter how long and how hard our quest shall be,” the minority chief whip declared.

Police Response

Later, the police administration issued a statement saying the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered the expansion of the committee tasked to investigate the shooting incident in the Ayawaso West Wuogon.

The committee is currently headed by the Deputy Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), George Tweneboah with other members drawn from the Police Professional Standards Bureau, Police Legal and Prosecution Directorate and other detectives from the Police Crime Scene Unit and Airport Division.

The Public Affairs Directorate, in a statement yesterday, said the police had taken statements of 16 victims involved in the shooting incident.

The statement, signed by the Director General in Charge of Public Affairs, ACP David Eklu, indicated that Sam George has also been issued with a statement form to officially lodge a complaint that would allow the police take the necessary actions.

“Videos and footages connected to the incident are being critically examined to aid investigations,” the police said.

The police said they have taken notice of the legitimate concerns raised by the public and promised thorough investigations into the matter.

They urged the public to divulge relevant information that would enhance the investigation.

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