Mahama blasts Police Service over AWW by-election commemoration boycott

John Mahama

Ex-Ghanaian leader John Mahama has questioned the motive behind the Ghana Police Service’s decision to boycott the one year commemoration of Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.

According to the flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the refusal to provide security for organisers of the program, is an indictment on its professionalism.

A wireless message which went viral on social media a day before the event, directed officers of the Ghana Police Service to “dissociate themselves from the event”.

“Any police officer found to have availed him/herself will be severely sanctioned,” the wireless message further noted.

But speaking at the event Friday, Mr Mahama said such moves must be condemned.

“I read it and I felt sad but our police officers must remember that their dedication to duty is to the state and they should remain neutral and non-partisan,” he said. 

The NDC flagbearer said when he wins the 2020 elections, he will work to ensure that Ghanaians’ confidence in the police is restored.

Also criticising the police’s action at the event was editor-in-chief of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr.

According to him, “this is the first time in my life and perhaps the first time in recorded history that a police institution is calling on policemen not to provide security. Now if the police are not providing security, what is the police there for?”

Mr Pratt questioned what the use of the police is if they are not ready to provide security at such events with the former president and other leaders in attendance.

The Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections was hit by chaos and violent protests after some suspected security personnel fired bullets at the Bawaleshie centre, polling station in the constituency.

Several rounds of ammunition were fired at the scene leaving several injured.

The opposition National Democratic Congress subsequently pulled out of the contest pointing to planned further attacks by what they describe state-sponsored security operatives.

The by-election was necessitated by the demise of the NPP MP of the area, the late Emmanuel Agyarko.

His wife, who contested in the by-election, retained the seat for the party.

Government later constituted the Emile Short Commission to investigate the incident which occurred on January 31, 2019.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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