The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Mahama has called on Ghanaians to exorcise the ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon as they go to the polls on Monday.
Speaking at an event to sign a Presidential Election Peace Pact 2020 Friday, he said, “Let us strive to prevent the violence of the past, particularly as witnessed in early 2019 during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-elections, which till date has gone unpunished.”
The former President said, “Recent events under the current President have given many anxious moments of doubt about this administration’s ability to deliver a peaceful, violence-free election.”
There was chaos on January 31, 2019, several masked men purportedly from the National Security Council drove in police armoured vehicles to a polling centre at La Bawaleshie.
They assaulted and shot at some supporters of Delali Brempong, the candidate of the opposition NDC.
Six persons were critically injured and several sustained minor injuries.
The NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam George, was captured in a video circulated on social media being assaulted by one of the members of the supposed security force.
The opposition party subsequently pulled out of the election as a result of the violence.
The Emile Commission was set up by government to investigate the mayhem that characterised the bye-election and it subsequently submitted its reports.
Government also submitted a white paper disagreeing to some of the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission.
Commenting on the fallouts, Mr Mahama said, “The events of Ayawaso West Wuogon are fresh in our minds.
“The administration’s refusal to sanction persons involved in assaulting an honourable Member of Parliament and injuring scores of people remain one of the darkest days in our democratic history.”
The former President said the reckless comments by leading members of the governing party that “the unfortunate events of Ayawaso West Wuogun were just a dress rehearsal for the actual election, do not inspire confidence for the delivery of a peaceful election.”
Mr Mahama said, “The loss of three lives in the course of a regular voter registration exercise also gives cause for worry. The military siege of the Volta Region and other locations during the registration exercise created an intimidatory atmosphere akin to a nation at war.”
Despite these, the NDC presidential candidate said the party is “optimistic.”
He said in the face of similar doubts in the past, Ghanaians have risen to the occasion and delivered peaceful elections.
“It is my prayer that despite our deepest fears we shall be proved wrong and Ghana will once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa,” he concluded.