Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to avoid shielding persons responsible for the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence from facing the law.
In a new year message posted on social media platforms yesterday, the former President,said sanctioning of culprits was the first step towards ensuring peace during this year’s general elections.
“As we go to the polls in 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo has a responsibility to secure the safety of all citizens and must resist the temptation to allow the use of violence to harm and intimidate innocent civilians as we observed last year during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
“On my part, I will continue to work for peace and I urge the President to do the same and as a first step, I suggest he stops shielding the perpetrators of the violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon. He must have them face the appropriate sanctions,” he added.
Following some violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in 2019, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) withdrew from the polls.
The violence, was believed to have been perpetrated by vigilantes of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who were clad in clothes from the National Security.
This led to the establishment of the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry which was, among other things, mandated “to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election”.
The Commission took statements from more than 20 witnesses and persons of interest over a three-week period.
The committee after its investigation presented its report to the President.
The government however rejected some of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry according to parts of the White Paper.
The government said, “The report failed to address the first and most critical of the terms of reference of the Commission.”
“The failure to do so disables government from accepting in whole the findings of the commission,” the White Paper had said.
Mr Mahama also emphasized the need for the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission (EC) to maintain the high standards of professionalism set by her predecessors, during the 2020 general elections.
BY TIMES REPORTER