The calamity that abrupted the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election Thursday shook the nation to its core, leaving experts baffled and in anticipation of what is yet to come.
On Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday, Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, a lawyer at Kasser Law Firm and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, condemned the violence and questioned the country’s direction moving into the 2020 general elections.
“Ghana is considered the bright shining star of Africa. We go by rule of law. So what is happening? Are we becoming a war-torn country?” Kasser-Tee questioned.
Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, lawyer at Kasser Law Firm and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Days after the attacks, Emanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute For Democratic Governance is “still surprised and trying to understand what led to this.” He said he is holding the authorities accountable to hold a swift and comprehensive investigation.
“All I hear is that the police is investigating,” he told the show’s host, Samson Lardy. “What happened [Thursday] needs to be investigated speedily and thoroughly.”
He further raised points in regards to the country’s national security. He explained that during election season, the National Security Task Force has command over everything that happens. But the task force’s role in the attacks Thursday raises questions, he said.
Emanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute For Democratic Governance
“How do we identify them? Are they badged?” he probed. “There should be way to determine whether someone works for national security or not.”
Budu Koomson, CEO of Nexus Consulting agrees and expressed disdain about what transpired during the by-election. “It turned into a war zone,” Koomson asserted.
He reemphasized Akwetey’s comments adding that a committee should be created to come out with in-depth investigation results. Actionable intelligence has revealed that there were scores of weapons, ammunition and personnel involved in the brutal attacks, he said. “There is a lot of evidence that can be gathered from gun powder and bullet residue, and there is a lot of footage.” There is no reason why the investigations should be delayed, he added.
Budu Koomson, CEO of Nexus Consulting
Just hours into the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election at the La Bawalashie Presby polling station Thursday, Joy News confirmed that shots had been fired at the station. Photos obtained by Myjoyonline purported to show blood stains and bullet holes at the station’s grounds.
According to Joy News’ Roland Walker, several dozen security detail wearing black masks and shirts labelled “NSC” (National Security Council). The men stormed inside the polling station and began firing shots lasting 20 minutes. Police intervened as the personnel attacked what was suspected to be NDC activists.
Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, told Daniel Dadzie on the Super Morning Show Thursday that several people died and were injured.
Moments before, Member of Parliament for Prampram, Sam Dzata George, posted online that he had just been assaulted by several members of the NPP Invicible Forces. He claimed that they, too, were wearing shirts labelled “NSC.”
“[George] is traumatized. When I went to his home he was in the bedroom and couldn’t even move. I don’t understand why people would do this,” Ofosu-Ampofo said.
Following the shootout, Myjoyonline.com confirmed that the NDC decided to pull out of the by-election, an election that Lydia Alhassan won. Alhassan snatched 68.8% of the total votes after the Electoral Commission (EC) finished its collation.
But before she clinched the nomination, the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, told Joy FM Thursday that the party chose to withdraw from the elections for security reasons.
“Armed security men besieged our candidate’s home and we can no longer guarantee the security of our people and our polling agents,” he said at the time.