‘Archaic’ Commission of Inquiry can’t solve political violence – Alidu Seidu
A senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu Alidu says setting up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate matters relating to criminality is “colonial” hence nothing better may come from the Justice Emile Short-led Commission, MyNewsgh.com reports.
In a response to government’s decision to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Ayawaso West Wuongon by-election violence, he observed that other measures could be used but not necessarily a Commission of Inquiry.
During the recently held by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon, heavily armed National Security operative shot and wounded several members of the NDC at the private residence of the NDC candidate.
Six people were shot at the La Baweleshie polling centre with no death recorded but have been treated and discharged with one said to have his leg amputated.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) withdrew from the contest following the incident.
Speaking in an interview with GBC radio programme Behind the News last Thursday, the lecturer explained that, “This (Commission of Inquiry) was used widely during colonial period. When the colonial masters do something that infringes on the native citizens, a Commission of Inquiry was set up at the eve of the anger so that by the time the Commission will finish its work the anger of the people will die virtually and then nothing happens”.
“Therefore if we look at the historical antecedents of Commission of Inquiry people will think that virtually the result, may not work and even if the result works it cannot lead to prosecution and the crime that was committed with criminal in character”, he added.
He, however, commended government for setting up a commission of Enquiry to investigate the matter.
“Technically speaking, if the commission doesn’t have the power to prosecute and most of the incidents that occurred were criminal character, then I think we are not dancing to the same tune”, he observed.
The Ghana Police Service has also set up a Committee to investigate the matter according to a statement signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Mr David Eklu, Deputy Director-General of Public Affairs.
The NDC has described the Justice Emile Short Commission as a smokescreen on the basis of its composition hence they will not appear before it if invited.
But Dr. Alidu commenting on the actions of political parties in relation to electoral violence said he doesn’t believe political violence will end.
“Because electoral violence is perpetrated by political parties and political parties are the same people or organization that form the government and where it lures to their benefit they won’t see anything wrong with it and they wouldn’t see why the will not deploy them”.