John Dramani Mahama, the Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has called on the Ghana Police Service to make the security of the citizenry paramount in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking at the first anniversary ceremony to mark the Ayawaso-West Wuogon by-election violence in Accra on Friday, the Former President said he was saddened by a statement that was making the rounds not to provide them security and urged the service and other security agencies to uphold the tenets of the constitution and remain neutral and non-partisan in the discharge of their mandates.
“Our police officers must remember that their dedication and duty is to the state and the constitution and everything that they do, must remain neutral and non-partisan,” he said.
The event, organised by the NDC in collaboration with the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations against Political Vigilantism, was aimed at commemorating the shooting incidence, which saw six people injured and marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on 31st January, 2019.
Touching on the incident, Mr Mahama said the party showed leadership by withdrawing its candidate from the contest.
He said events of that fateful day should give any Ghanaian who professed peace a cause to worry, especially heading into the 2020 general election and urged the citizens to therefore work to defend the constitution and the sovereignty of the country.
The former President also assured victims of the by-election violence of his next government’ support, adding that he would ensure that justice was served if elected in the upcoming elections.
“While we are all witnesses to that sordid history, we must know that it is those who have been physically maimed and injured and others who have been mentally scarred from the experience with their families and loved ones who bare and relive the memory and pain of that event each and every day of their lives”, he said.
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the National Chairman of the NDC, said there was a need for on all political parties to have a holistic discussion on vigilantism to ensure that the canker was nip in the bud and to bolster peace before, during and after the elections.
He however expressed concern over lack of government’s support for the victims of the incident.
“……sadly enough, ever since this incident took place and people got injured with some hospitalised for almost one year, no government official has taken interest in the plight of the injured ones,” he said.
Mr Adam Bona, a Security Analyst urged the government to consider restructuring the National Security and disband it in its entirety.
According to him, the service outlived its usefulness and required total overhauling if it was to effectively deliver on its mandate.
He also urged government to honour the Emile Short’s Recommendations, especially compensate victims of the incidence in order to bring relief to them.
Speaking on behalf of the victims, Ishawu Yaro commended the former President and the NDC for their continuous support towards victims and their families.