The Greater Accra Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service has ordered its officers in the region to stay off the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) durbar scheduled on Friday to mark the first anniversary of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
Friday, January 31, 2020 marks one year since the unfortunate incident happened during the by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency.
The by-election was to find a replacement for the then sitting Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, who had passed on.
During the exercise, some National Security Operatives fired gunshots at the polling centre at La Bawaleshie, injuring about six persons believed to be NDC supporters.
There were also acts of police brutality caught on camera by journalists.
The NDC subsequently opted out of the race claiming it took the decision to avoid further attacks on their members.
To mark this day, the NDC and other sympathizers will hold a commemorative durbar in remembrance at the La Bawaleshie Presby school.
But according to an internal memo sighted by media and signed by the Second in Command for the police in the Greater Accra Region, Emmanuel Afriyie Sakyi, “no police officer should be detailed to provide security for the event.”
The memo further stated that “indeed all police officers within the region must dissociate themselves from the event” and warns that any police officer found at the event will be “severely sanctioned”.
It is unclear why such a decision had been taken by the police.
Sam George reacts to police memo
Unhappy with the directive by the police, Sam George, Member of Parliament for the Ningo-Prampram constituency, and one of the people who suffered from the brutality during the by-election, on his Facebook page insisted that the police were duly notified of the event.
“The NDC has announced a programme to commemorate the 1st year anniversary of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election tomorrow. The Police have been duly notified of the programme in accordance with the Public Order Act.”
“Why then has the Police hierarchy issued a wireless message barring any Police Officer from providing security at the programme? I am deeply disappointed at the Ghana Police Service. We shall overcome but let those who think they stand take heed. Power is transient,” he wrote.
NDC donates to victims
The Welfare Committee of the NDC ahead of the one-year anniversary paid a visit to persons who were injured during the by-election.
The victims were given items and cash worth GH₵12,000.
The chairperson of the NDC’s Welfare committee, Dzifa Aku Attivor condemned the incident and called on the government to duly compensate the victims.
About commemorative durbar
The one-year anniversary to be held in remembrance of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence has former President John Mahama as the keynote speaker.
The program which is themed, “Towards Election 2020, Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, never again”, has other speakers such as Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Dr. Basit Bamba and Adam Bona.