National Security Director fingers NDC 'Hawks' in Ayawaso by-election violence
The Director of Operations at National Security is blaming a militia affiliated with the main opposition party for the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in Accra.
Colonel Michael Opoku said one of the men arrested by the police is a known member of the Hawks, a militia linked to the National Democratic Congress.
“When you google for information of Hawks, you will see him…I’m told he is the chairman of the Hawks organisation”, he told the Commission of Inquiry investigating the violence.
The controversial claim adds a new twist to what happened on 31 January 2016 after violence at a polling station at La Bawaleshie led to at least 15 injured, some through gunshots.
According to the narrative of the National Security Director, masked operatives together with a SWAT team stormed a house of the NDC parliamentary candidate suspecting an illegal possession and use of weapons.
Col. Opoku said gunshots were first fired from this house as the SWAT team encountered a hostile crowd gathering around the house.
The security team abandoned the premises after arresting nine suspects in front of the house and aborted the mission without confirming the presence of arms.
But the counter-narrative in the media has been that a pro-government militia, Invincible Forces infamous for creating insecurity, caused the mayhem under the guise of being National Security operatives.
Government has been severely condemned for supervising growing insecurity and indulging its militias in causing public disorder.
The Colonel, however, has revealed the pro-NDC militia, the Hawks, moved to Accra from Tamale in the Northern region and Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.
The Director claimed they had intelligence on arms movement into the constituency ahead of the by-elections.
The Hawks in the past 48 hours have also been linked to a tragic shooting incident at the Ashanti region head office of the opposition NDC in Kumasi.
While public attention has moved from NPP militias to NDC militias, the Colonel has pointed out, the Hawks’ propensity for violence was at play during the Ayawaso West-Wuogon by-election.
The masked men in intimidating security gear that stormed the constituency, he said was part of moves to assure voters that security was on top of their game.
But while national security has called this activity confidence-building, a member of the Commission Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu has suggested, it was confidence-sapping.