The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has defended claims by its flagbearer, John Mahama, that the Akufo-Addo government is training party thugs at Asutuare for the purposes of the 2020 general elections.In a press release dated 15th October, 2019 and signed by NDC’s National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, the party is categorical that claims by former President Mahama on the recruitment of thugs by the NPP – who are being trained at Asutuare – for deployment in the 2020 general elections are true, stressing that the NDC has pictorial evidence among others as proof.
This comes in the wake of a statement by Yaw Buaben Asamoah, National Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which described the claims by former President Mahama as untrue.
“Worrying enough, we have in our possession pictures and other pieces of indisputable evidence about ongoing training of more of these thugs at Asutuare towards election 2020 as was revealed by President Mahama.
It is obvious from the overwhelming evidence available to us on this matter, that President Akufo-Addo himself is the chief mastermind and promoter of these illegal acts which threaten the very core of our democracy,” the release read in parts.
The NDC is also of the opinion that NPP has an elaborate plan of using thugs as part of its governance process, accusing the Akufo-Addo administration of allowing thug violence to survive and thrive under it.
“Right from his assumption of office in 2017, President Akufo-Addo has failed to deal decisively with his party thugs who brutalized innocent Ghanaians in their offices, homes and even court rooms. His posture on the subject of political vigilantism and state-sponsored electoral violence has been one of tacit endorsement from day one.
It is a matter of public record that President Akufo-Addo’s tenure as leader of the NPP has ushered the party into a dark phase under which violence has been incorporated into its philosophy and ethos. There is abundant evidence that thugs loyal to him were unleashed on his critics within the NPP, in the run up to the 2016 elections and on a number of occasions, their Headquarters became the staging post of bloody clashes.
This affinity for violence has continued during his time as President. In the last two (2) and half years, NPP thugs operating under several names, have gone on rampage, perpetrating acts of violence against any and everybody they deem a target.
They have attacked senior security officials at the Flagstaff House and the Regional Coordinating Council in Kumasi. Not even the courts have been spared as these marauding gangs have breached their sanctity as well with violent attacks.
All of these acts of lawlessness have gone on without any firm action from President Akufo-Addo. And, this is a clear testament of the fact that these party militants are acting with official sanction,” the statement expatiated.
The NDC has therefore appealed to stakeholders of peace in the country to call on the President Akufo-Addo to “halt this illegality so as to preserve the peace and stability of our beloved country.”