General News of Friday, 1 February 2019
The Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, has said his outfit will look into the incident where the MP for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, was assaulted during the violence that erupted at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
The Minister said Sam George was at the centre of the incident that triggered the gunfire at La Bawaleshie, leading to several persons getting injured.
Mr. Acheampong described the incident as quite unfortunate, and said he has since spoken to the MP, saying, “I assured him that we were going to investigate the matter and the report will be shared with him.” “I condemn the entire incident and I can assure that matter, we will review the case. We will interview all persons involved and if there is any action that has to be taken, that action will be taken.”
But Mr. Acheampong also gave his account of what led to the confusion that marred the by-election.
“There were 15 motorbikes that came to a particular polling station led by Sam George,” he said.
When they came there, the MP for Ablekuma Central, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, reportedly told Sam George and the men on motorbikes to leave the area.
They left to a house near a polling station where they started firing, Mr. Acheampong narrated.
“Nine people came out of the house and started hurling stones at the security men that got there. They rounded them up. The resisted arrest, some of them got injured and these nine when sent to the police station.”
Mr. Acheampong noted that the motorbikes had been barred from the vicinity of the polling stations.
“We have a situation where 15 motorbikes were led by an honorable member of Parliament to a particular polling station. We want to find out how come the information didn’t go down there,” the Minister said.
‘Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election the most peaceful on record’ – Bryan Acheampong
Despite the heavy security and evidence of violence, Mr. Bryan Acheampong 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.”
Sam George’s account of events
Sam George said he had tried to intervene when the Deputy National Women’s Organizer of the NDC was arrested because she took photos of some national security personnel.
“They agreed to let her go. While we were speaking, I saw some of them jump a wall close to the building closer to the NDC candidate’s house.”
“When they were stopped from entering the house of the NDC candidate, they started shooting at the security. They fired several rounds of AK-47,” Sam George recounted on Eyewitness News in the audio below.
He said it was during the exchange that one of the security men stepped out of a parked pick-up truck to slap the MP.
He was then punched by another person in uniform suspected to be part of the security team.
The MP said at this point, he had to find a place to hide as the situation escalated.
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 at, 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.