General News of Fri, 9 May 20032
NDC wants judicial enquiry
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the government to institute a judicial enquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of some rioters during the recent disturbances in Tamale. Such an inquiry, the party said, would reveal the truth about how three of the deceased died since only one was reportedly killed during the riot.
NDC’s National Youth Organiser, Idrisu Haruna made the request in an interview with the “Evening News,” after he returned from Tamale on a fact-finding mission. He noted that information available to the party had revealed that some of the gross human rights abuse of security agencies sent to the municipality to restore law and order.
He stressed that although the NDC was committed to ensuring and building peace in Tamale, it would not condone human rights abuses being perpetrated against perceived supporters of the party.
According to the Youth Organiser, the Tamale Municipality had been virtually turned into a police state under the disguise of a State of Emergency imposed on the area, an assertion the government has categorically denied and described as malicious.
“People perceived to be NDC supporters are being chased around by agents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some members of the security agencies,” he alleged. He said; “there is no longer rule of law, but the rule of the ruler as the NPP looks on while a section of the citizenry’s human rights are being violated.
Mr. Haruna further alleged that some senior members of the NPP in Tamale had submitted a list of NDC members in the Municipality who were being arrested and detained without being taken to court or being charged. He explained that the declaration of a State of Emergency did not mean that security agencies could arrest people without any due justification. He said personally, what was happening in Tamale put him at a lost as to whether the country is being ruled by a democratic regime or a military junta.
The NDC Youth Organiser therefore, called on Ghanaians especially the media and also the diplomatic corps to show interest in the conflict in Tamale because “what is happening there cannot be a good sign for our quest and collective resolve to build a healthy democracy for Ghana.”
He also advised supporters of the NDC to ignore all acts of provocation and exercise self-restraint while asking the security agencies to exercise utmost caution in the discharge of their duties.
It is recalled that on Wednesday, April 23 2003, a group of butchers suspected to be supporters of the NDC and NPP clashed in the Tamale Municipality leading to the death of four people. At least 11 houses and other properties running into millions of cedis were also destroyed in the process.