National Democratic Congress (NDC) Flagbearer hopeful, John Mahama, has responded to the eruption of violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election with a reminder of the NDC’s own capacity for violence.
The former President said his party was prepared to advise itself after one person was shot and others injured during some confusion at the La Bawaleshie Presby School polling center.
The NDC and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) have traded accusations in the aftermath of the incident, saying the other party orchestrated the tensions which marred the election.
Speaking to party supporters in Adaklu, Mr. Mahama said: “the NPP is taking this power as a matter of life and death.”
Out of respect for the constitution, he said the NDC had been acting docile but is ready to revolt if the perceived intimidation from the government continues.
“We respect the constitution of this country and NDC is a democratic country and that is why we abide by the rules of the constitution. But the same constitution says that Ghanaians should resist anybody who attempts to subvert the constitution and when you go rampaging with forces and intimidating people when they come out and vote, you are subverting Ghana’s constitution and we have the right to resist you.”
Mr. Mahama acknowledged the NDC’s political roots, which contributed two coup d’etats to Ghana’s history, saying “when it comes to unleashing violence, nobody can beat us in unleashing violence.”
“I want to sound a caution that 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 added.
The NDC withdrew from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election following the shooting incident and ordered its polling agents and observers from the area.
Independent observers and media reports have noted that some of the NDC’s complaints are justified as observers have criticised what has been described as uncoordinated, excessive and intimidating security protocols.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, was at the wrong end of some security personnel as he is seen being struck in the face by two security personnel in a viral video.
The widow of the late MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Alhassan, emerged victorious in the poll with 12, 041 votes representing 68.30%.
Despite the boycott, the NDC’s Delali Kwasi Brempong polled 5, 341 votes representing 30.52% whiles William Dowokpor of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Clement Boadi of the Liberal Party of Ghana both polled 102 and 17 votes respectively.
Source: Citi FM