It appears the physical violence that occurred during the Thursday 31st January 2019 by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana is far from over.
The shooting, throwing of fists and using of whips that occurred at the residence of the opposition National Democratic Congress’ Candidate Mr. Delali Brempong has metamorphosed into verbal war between the government and the former president John Dramani Mahama.
Meeting With Diplomats
The former president John Dramani Mahama last week met with some diplomats and showed them videos and pictures alleged to have been taken from Ayawaso.
The former president also showed a video where some ‘police men’ were seen dancing and singing to the diplomats and described that as video taken during the funeral of the late Mr. Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko. Mr. Mahama described the men in the said video as hoodlums of the NPP who were later used to cause Mayhem during the Ayawaso by-election.
But addressing a news conference in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah described the actions of Mr. Mahama as unfortunate and called on the former President to apologise as his actions are prejudicial to the work of the Commission of Enquiry set up by President Akufo-Addo to look into the alleged cases of violence that characterized the elections.
”First, this is unfortunate act by a former President of the republic as it is prejudicial to the work of the committee. As one who has occupied the highest office of the land, it is unthinkable that he will make pronouncements that seek to prejudice or undermine the work of a fact finding committee at a meeting where he has invited diplomats so to do. We do not believe that in the various countries where diplomats come from, this prejudicial undermining conduct will be countenanced” he said.
Mr. Nkrumah added that government will this week be serving notice to the members of the diplomatic community that two of the three videos and the narratives that the former President gave to them on the said videos are palpably false and designed at tarnishing Ghana’s hard worn reputation in the eyes of the international community.
He explained that the first video which purports to show some security persons singing and dancing at a funeral, which security persons the former President told them were NPP vigilante men in song and dance at the funeral of the former MP for the area Hon Kyeremanten Agyarko and which security persons were responsible for the Ayawaso West Wougon incident at the residence of the NDCs Parliamentary candidate is False.
“Indeed that video is a video of Policemen who had attended a funeral of a fellow police officer and had nothing to do with the late Agyarko’s funeral” he added.
Mr. Nkrumah said there was also no evidence that the Policemen who attended the funeral of their Colleague were even involved in either the police operation at Ayawaso West Wougon or the SWAT operation at the residence of the NDC candidate.
“Mr. Mahama’s presentation to the diplomats of that video as evidence of a said NPP vigilante group involved in the Ayawaso West Wougon incidents is false and should be treated as such. The family of Mr. Agyarko has even had cause to deny this and the government will bring this formally to the attention of the diplomats. Ghana is regaining its place in the community of nations and her government will allow no person for whatever parochial interest to undercut our collective gains” the Minister said.
Bald Faced Liar
Mr. Boateng Agyarko, the elder brother of the late Kyeremanteng Agyarko has described former president Mahama as Bald Faced Liar.
In a statement posted on his facebook wall, Mr. Agyarko said “The attention of the family of Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, the late Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon has been drawn to a videotape circulating of the Former President, John Mahama describing a scene of Security operatives as an occurrence at the funeral ceremony of our late loved one.
The family will like to put on record to the international community whom he addressed with the video, that there was no such activity at the funeral ceremony. The funeral of our late brother was organized successfully without any casualties and we find this distortion very surprising.”
Propaganda cannot erase shame
But the former president is obviously not retreating as he has hit back at the government for criticizing him for meeting with foreign diplomats in the aftermath of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
In a statement, Mr Mahama said “No amount of government-sponsored propaganda and distraction will take away the stigma of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, as darkest day in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republican democracy.”