The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has added its voice to the barrage of condemnations that has greeted a shooting incident at La Bawalashie last Thursday.
Masked and armed men said to be from the National Security Council stormed the La Bawaleshie Primary School polling station where voting was ongoing to elect a new Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon following the death of Kyeremateng Agyarko.
What triggered the gunshots has not been established yet, however, at least six people sustained gunshot wounds.
Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament, Samuel George, was assaulted by one of the security operatives.
The police said it has launched an investigation into the incident.
In a press statement issued on Monday, the Ghana Bar Association said it “finds it is most alarming and shameful that people should sustain gunshot wounds and others, including a member of Ghana's legislative arm of Government, be assaulted by persons some of whom, were masked, and hereby condemns in no uncertain terms the actions of the perpetrators.”
The GBA said the use of firearms and acts of violence during a by-election was a serious blight on Ghana's hard-won democratic credentials and a threat to the rule of law and our democracy.
Ghana's democracy, the GBA said, is a shining example on the African continent and we must strive to safeguard it.
“We wish to take this opportunity to empathise with the victims of shooting and assault and to state that they should receive justice,” the statement jointly signed by Anthony Forson Jnr, National President and Yaw Acheampong Boafo, Secretary, said.
Read the full statement below.
GHANA BAR ASSOCIATION'S STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE IN THE AYAWASO WEST WUOGON CONSTITUENCY
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has read and viewed with great worry and apprehension, the extremely disturbing media and social media reports regarding incidents of shooting and assault that occurred in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra on Thursday, 31st January 2019.
The Bar finds it is most alarming and shameful that people should sustain gunshot wounds and others, including a member of Ghana's legislative arm of Government, be assaulted by persons some of whom, were masked, and hereby condemns in no uncertain terms the actions of the perpetrators.
The GBA views the use of firearms and acts of violence in a constituency where a By-election was being held as a serious blight on Ghana's hard-won democratic credentials and a threat to the rule of law and our democracy. Ghana's democracy is a shining example on the African continent and we must strive to safeguard it.
The GBA therefore calls on the security and law enforcement agencies, as a matter of urgency, to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that the perpetrators of these shameful and appalling acts are arrested, duly charged and prosecuted.
The GBA further calls on the security agencies to ensure the proper wholistic training of all persons to be deployed to ensure the safety of the electoral process in preparation for the 2020 elections and reassure the general populace of their safety.
We wish to take this opportunity to empathise with the victims of shooting and assault and to state that they should receive justice.
In the interim, the GBA would call on all political leaders and actors to be extremely circumspect with their utterances and to exercise maximum restraint at all times to enable their followers to emulate their example.
The Bar wishes to emphasise that the actions of the perpetrators are unacceptable. They have no place in our current democratic dispensation, and the consequences of their activities are grave and should be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians. The perpetrators are a threat to the rule of law and should not be countenanced.
DATED AT ACCRA THIS 4TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2019.
(SGD) ANTHONY FORSON, JNR - NATIONAL PRESIDENT, GBA
(SGD.) YAW ACHEAMPONG BOAFO - NATIONAL SECRETARY, GBA
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