Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election turns violent …18 people shot

The agitated crowd at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election

The agitated crowd at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election

The Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituencyby-election turned tragic yesterday as eighteen people wereshot at La Bawaleshie, a suburb of Accra.

The incident which occurred around 8:30a.m. left the victims, all men,with gunshot woundsin the shoulder, head, elbow and leg.

They were rushed to the University of Ghana, Legon Hospital where seventeen of them were treated and discharge while one, who was wounded in the left leg, wasreferred to the 37 Military Hospital due to the severity of his condition.

The Hospital Administrator, Mr Eric Gaiseyconfirmed the condition of the victims to the Ghanaian Times.

Several eyewitness accounts indicate that the incident occurred in the house of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, KwasiDelali Brempong, which is located behind the La Bawalashie Presbyterian Basic School Polling Station.

Masked and gun wielding men in police pick up vehicles, said to be National Security operatives, according to eyewitnesses entered the house after which gun shots were heard.

Isaac Ashitey, who claims to be amongst a group of people standing in front of the house when the incident occurred, said they took to their heels but some of them were hit by bullets.

When the reporters got to the scene, there was blood on the ground apparently from the victims while many residents had gathered in a group discussing the episode.

In a video that has gone viral, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George who was at the scene, was assaulted bysecurity operatives during a misunderstanding.

In spite of the unfortunate incident and the withdrawal of NDC polling agents as directed by the party, voting at three polling stations at the school continued with heavy military and police presence to maintain law and order.

The reporters observed that polling agents of the NDC had left the station as directed by the party leadership following the confrontation.

The NDC candidate MrBrempong who visited the victims at the Legon Hospital, in an interview with Ghanaian Times condemned and described the incident as worrying.

“We are in the 21st century and I don’t expect this kind of barbaric action from anybody let alone being led by a President who is supposed to be a lawyer,” he fumed.

The candidates who arrived with police escort, was accompanied by the party’s National Organiser, Joshua Akamba and some party members. Acquaintances of the victims were at the hospital to sympathise with the victims.

Meanwhile checks at some of the polling stationsin the morning indicated voting started peacefully and on time.

According to the Presiding officer at the La Bawaleshie Primary School Polling Station B,Mr Ransford Tettehfio, as at 9:50 a.m.vote cast  was 41 out of 720 with no challenges.

The Dzorwulu Open Space B Polling Station had 34 votes cast out of 513 voters as of 8:35 a.m. while turn out at various polling stations at the University of Ghana were low , apparently due to the fact that students were yet to resume school.

The by-election was been occasioned by the death of the MP,Mr Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko who was buried last weekend.Four political parties battled it out for the vacant seat.

By Jonathan Donkor and Allia Noshie


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