Despite the heavy security and evidence of violence, the Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, has said the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election was the most peaceful by-election on record compared to others.
“The Ayawaso by-election, from all reports that I have received, was the most peaceful by-election that we have had in this country, on record,” the Minister said on the Citi Breakfast Show making reference to others in Atiwa, Talensi and elsewhere.
“One hundred and thirty-seven polling stations; free and fair. No incidence of disruption in any polling station. One polling station there was an incident close by the polling station lasting about 20 to 25 minutes. That incident was dealt with.”
There was a shooting incident near a La Bawaleshie polling centre that temporarily disrupted the polls. The area was said to be close to the residence of the NDC Parliamentary Candidate.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) also said some of its observers saw some of the uniformed security personnel who did not seem to understand the rules of the election, attack a police officer.
NDC Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George was also assaulted by some security personnel.
Mr. Acheampong said the deployment of security personnel described by onlookers as intimidating was “standard to all by-elections that I have been.”
“We deployed men and some of them had masks. It is not like they came from somewhere, they were just engaged and put there. They were part of the set up that we deployed.”
“Every deployment is based on the information that you receive and so you deploy in preparedness for the information that you have. Whether they are in masks, they are in slippers, they are plain clothes, it doesn’t matter. You need to protect the public.”
According to the police, six persons were injured during the shooting incident and were sent to the 37 military and Legon hospitals for treatment.
In a statement, the Police Service also disclosed that the Inspector-General directed the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department to speed up investigations into the incident.
When Mr. Acheampong was reminded that some police communicators had said they did not have knowledge of the masked men, he explained that the police officers’ comments were misconstrued and that he had spoken to them and they had denied making those comments.
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While condemning the excesses in relation to those who were injured, Mr. Brian Acheampong said he had spoken to his colleague MP who was assaulted, Sam George, and assured him that the matter would be investigated and the culprits punished.
The Ghana Police Service which denied reports that someone had died over the incident, has said it is investigating the incident thoroughly.
NDC orchestrated Ayawaso West Wuogon violence – NPP
After the NDC had pulled out of the race citing the violence, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a news conference said the violence was orchestrated by the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, to discredit the election.
NPP’s Director of Communications, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, said: “this is a hugely orchestrated attempt by the NDC because they knew from the beginning that they were going to lose.”
Mr. Asamoah, who doubles as the MP for Adentan said their conviction is further strengthened by the fact that the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prapram, Sam George, who claimed he was shot, sustained no gunshot wounds, but is still alive and kicking.
NPP’s Lydia Alhassan wins controversial Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election by landslide
The New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary candidate for the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, eventually won the by-election by a landslide victory.
She won the poll by 12, 041 votes representing 68.30% with the closest contender, Delali Kwasi Brempong, the National Democratic Congress’ candidate polling 5, 341 votes representing 30.52%
William Dowokpor of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Clement Boadi of the Liberal Party of Ghana both managed a paltry 102 and 17 votes respectively.