Hundreds demo against violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election

The demonstrators.Photo.Ebo Gorman

The demonstrators.Photo.Ebo Gorman

Hundreds of Ghanaians yesterday embarked on a peaceful march through some principal streets of Accra, to protest against the violence which marred the by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region last Thursday.

Christened “Aaagbe Wo” to wit ‘they are killing us’, the demonstration was organised by the Inter-Party Coalition in Defence of National Sovereignty.

Clad in red and black and in some cases the Ghana flag, the demonstrators displayed placards with various inscriptions including “Ghana Beyond Delta Force”, “IGP Must Go”, “Boot 4Boot”,“Ghana Beyond Violence”, “Bloody MP,” “Ghana is no longer safe,” “We can’t sleep under violence,” “Stop killing us,” among others.

National executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) including Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia; Deputy Youth Organiser, Edem Agbana; Presidential aspirant of the NDC, Sylvester Mensah; Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, MP for Klottey Korle, Zanetor Rawlings as well as other key political figures participated in the demonstration.

As early as 7:00 a.m. the participants who had converged at the Obra Spot amidst drumming, singing and chanting commenced the walk through Farrisco Traffic Light to UTC, the High Street to the Ministry of the Interior, the Police Headquarters and finally to the Jubilee House, where they presented a petition to the government which was received by Rockson Bukari, Minister of State at the Office of the President.

They presented similar petitions to the IGP and the Minister of Interior.

Reminiscing the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on January 31, some of the protesters rolled on the streets while others lied down wailing “aagbe wo”.

The convener of the Coalition, Bernard Mornah, urged the IGP to ensure swift investigations into the violent incidence during the by-elections.

Mr Nketia commended the police and other security operatives for providing security for a non-violent protest and called on the IGP to facilitate the investigations of the Ayawaso violence and bring the perpetrators to book.

The coalition, he said was demanding an immediate response to the petition from the relevant powers to ensure that incidence of such nature never happen again in the country.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, said the demonstration was a clear message that Ghanaians would stand together and abhor violence with the utmost desire for respect for the constitution and would not allow militias to disturb the peace and security of the country.

He explained that it was undesirable to live in a country where hoodlums would be given state equipment, weapons and attires with the order to go and attack citizens adding that “it is our aim to keep the President, wherever he is, and the international community aware of the safety and security struggles in the country and that we stand against the activity of private militias and demand peace.”

Earlier, former President, John Dramani Mahama, in a tweet endorsed the demonstration and urged all members of the NDC to participate in it.

“I welcome the initiative of the Inter-Party Coalition for National Sovereignty and I encourage all members of the NDC to participate in tomorrow’s demonstration. Let’s show to the world that we stand for peace and that the violence displayed at Ayawaso West Wuogon has no place in our democracy,” he stated.

 

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Johnson Bediako, Commander-in-charge of the Formed Police Unit for the demonstration, said the protest came-off smoothly without any instance of violence from the public or any political party and commended the organisers for the cooperation.

The Public Relations Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Effia Tengey told the Ghanaian Times that the police was strategically deployed to maintain peace and order and “disengage unlawful activities” that could result in safety and security concerns.

Evangel Kelvin Ainoo and Frederick Gadese-Mensah

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