Ayawaso Violence: National Security Director blames NDC's Hawks
The Director of Operations at the office of National Security, Colonel Michael Opoku, has blamed members of the pro-opposition vigilante group, The Hawks, affiliated to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), for the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Thursday, 31 January 2019.
He told the Commission of Inquiry investigating the violence on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 that one of the people arrested by the police during the skirmishes, is a known member of The Hawks.
“When you Google for information of The Hawks, you will see him… I’m told he is the chairman of the Hawks organisation”, he told the Commission.
Col. Opoku also disputed the contents of a video recording which captured scenes of violence at the by-election.
After watching the tape when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry led by Justice Emile Short, Colonel Opoku concluded that the tape had been doctored.
He told the Commission: “I've seen it but not in this sequence. The previous ones I watched, we can watch it again. The Immigration officer was moving when I think, Hon. Sam George was slapped but, in this situation, the reporter said a different thing altogether”.
In his opinion, the video available to the Commission “is a well-doctored video”.
Colonel Opoku reiterated that: “If anybody can get the first-day video, you'll see that this one is a doctored video”.
He further cautioned the media against false reportage and urged them to stop creating impressions that do not reflect the true representation of events.
“This video, I don’t think is the true reflection of whatever happened and this is what our pressmen must be very cautious in doing because the first footage I saw from the office at Abelemkpe, reported that two people had died”.
A group of masked national security operatives fired gunshots and wounded some 16 supporters of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at La-Bawaleshie near the private residence of Mr Kwesi Delali Brempong, the NDC candidate, barely an hour into the by-election.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Sam George was slapped by a security operative during the melee.
Colonel Opoku admitted that the masked men were National Security operatives and revealed that the person who slapped the MP has been asked to “stand down” as the security hierarchy looks into the matter.