By-election violence a setback to Ghana's status as beacon of African democracy - ExLa Group
ExLA Group has condemned the debacle that ensued during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, Thursday.
Violence erupted after some armed and attired security personnel thronged the center and fired shots, injuring some persons in the process and leading to counter reactions.
Like several other entities who have spoken against the development, ExLA Group in a statement signed by its Executive Director Daniel Osei Tuffuor believes the incident is regrettable.
The group is calling on the Inspector General of Police "to as a matter of urgency, investigate the matter and reveal the identities these thugs who acted with impunity in the presence of Police forces deployed to manage the by-election" stressing that the incident "is a breech to the safety and security of the entire nation, not forgetting recent concerns of the threat of political vigilantism in the nation."
ExLA further expressed utmost disappointment in Former President John Mahama following his remarks on the matter.
Mr. Mahama while blaming the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the violence sounded a word of caution to the party saying, the NDC will “match them boot for boot” if they do not desist from attacking their members.
"NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence no one can beat us to that. It is just that we midwifed this country’s democracy and that is why we must be the first to respect it. That is why we are acting as a party that is docile and respecting the rule of law. But if we believe that the government cannot protect our people and we believe that the government is using its vigilante groups and illegal forces to intimidate and harass and injure our people, then we may have to advise ourselves,” he said.
But ExLA asserts the remarks were below the belt.
Below is the full statement:
ExLA Group has learned of some acts of violence that took place during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. Reports indicate that at least six people have sustained gunshot injuries as a result of the violence and are currently responding to treatment at health facilities in the Capital.
ExLA Group in no uncertain terms, condemns this act of barbarism.
The violence was alledged to have been perpetrated by unknown masked and armed men who seem to align themselves to the national security forces deployed to monitor and safeguard the by-election at the La Bawalashie Presby JHS polling station.
It is a complete setback to the nation’s hard earned status as the beacon of African democracy and stability and must not be condoned in any way. What made the incident even more alarming was the level of impunity with which it took place in the presence of Police officers. This has raised concerns regarding the true state and prowess of the security apparatus of the nation in dealing with violence.
While the leadeship have come out to deny having any connection with the assailants, we are also perplexed about how they managed to have access to Police branded vehicles. We therefore call on the Inspector General of Police to as a matter of urgency, investigate the matter and reveal the identities these thugs who acted with impunity in the presence of Police forces deployed to manage the by-election. This is a breech to the safety and security of the entire nation, not forgetting recent concerns of the threat of political vigilantism in the nation.
We however entreat members of the public and most importantly, the top hierarchy of the major political parties to desist from any further comments on the issue that may appear inflammatory, inciting people for violence.
It is in the good interest of the entire nation. On that note, we wish to express our disappointment in the remarks given by the Former President, John Mahama on the matter which seem to incite his supporters. We however, believe that the remarks, having been issued at the wake of the violence would be redressed to ensure that law and order is upheld.
Again, we expect the government to show more commitment in dealing with the matter after issuing a statement to condemn the act and ensure that the appropriate institutions do their work in bringing the perpetrators to book.
We commiserate with the victims of the violence and pray that political violence will not have a place in our body politics ever again. But more importantly, we want to call on the President to take the necessary measures to disband Political Vigilante groups as a matter of urgency; they remain the biggest threat to the nations security.
Daniel Osei Tuffuor