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GHANA MUST DEAL WITH THE CULPRITS OF AYAWASO. THAT IS WHAT WE EXPECT

General News

The nation continues to discuss whether political parties which suffer the misfortune of losing a Member of Parliament through death should have the automatic privilege to replace their representative with someone of their choice.

The nation continues to discuss whether political parties which suffer the misfortune of losing a Member of Parliament through death should have the automatic privilege to replace their representative with someone of their choice.

The matter has become very topical in view of the isolated violence that erupted during the just-ended Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

Even though the deplorable events did not take place at a polling station, many believe that our national security institutions discredited themselves and, consequently, the government.

We at the Daily Statesman are yet to see one person defend the violence. Indeed, both the governing New Patriotic Party and the main opposition National Democratic Congress, which initially dithered over whether to take part in the by-election, agree that it was needless.

Since the skirmishes of Thursday morning, which erupted in a house at a scene set apart from the polling stations of Ayawaso West Wuogon, the whole nation – civil society, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, politicians on both sides of the aisle as well as ordinary citizens – has condemned the violence.

The nation’s image

The attitude of the police in dealing with a perceived infraction by some suspects has done nobody any good. Neither has the sad sight of bloodletting as a measure in tackling that infraction.

Indeed, not only have they sullied Ghana’s image in the eyes of the international community, but they have put a dampener on the good reason for the winning party and winning candidate to celebrate their hard-worked-for but predictable victory.

Pot and kettle

Former President John Dramani Mahama, who is known for happily “killing flies with a sledgehammer”, has advocated vengeance, recalling the darkest days in the nation’s history instead of civil options in addressing the violence.

President Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, has condemned the violence and called for investigations and punitive action against those who, in carrying out their official duties, clearly went overboard.

We commend the President for his boldness in speaking to the matter without making excuses on behalf of the security services.

This will be important in helping deal once and for all with the creeping saga of impunity in our national security apparatus.

Remember Tain

We at the Daily Statesman join all peace-loving Ghanaians to commiserate with any individual who may have been injured in the violence or traumatised by the events.

Ghanaians will concede that historically, since 1992, it has been the NPP that has been the frequent victim of such acts of politically induced violence.

Think of the highly disputed Tain runoff election of January 2009, in which the NPP decided not to use its incumbency to contain the NDC’s push for power at all costs, which eventually won the party the 2008 general election.

The NPP held then that Ghana’s peace was more important than political bravado in which ordinary citizens might become victims of violence.

That philosophy continued to guide the party into the 2012 and 2016 elections, in which the NPP, in the face of impunity and naked intimidation, subjugated its own interests and engaged the government and its agencies, lawfully, until it achieved a breakthrough in the shape of certain vital reforms.

Calmed the situation

While we commend the President for his tact in managing the situation and his call for a thorough probe, we also urge the investigative body that may be put in place to do a thorough job in finding out who and what caused the violence.

Prominent among the actions that must come under the spotlight are the acts of stone-throwing to which the Honourable Member for Ningo-Prampram has confessed.

These may have led to abuse of alleged suspects and innocent citizens.

We must also hear how the police intend to sustain their drive to dismantle political militias of all colours and how they intend to subject their role to the scrutiny of law and policymakers, in line with Ghana’s constitution.