The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said the attacks on its members by thugs of the ruling NPP has reached a crescendo.
The party has charged its followers not to sit and watch but defend themselves against further attacks by goons of the New Patriotic Party in the ongoing voter registration exercise.
The calls follow another attack at Step-to-Christ Polling station on Monday where the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson fired a gunshot to disperse the registrants.
The MP who doubles as Minister of Special Development Initiatives accompanied by some thugs set some motorbikes ablaze.
Since the start of the compilation of a new voter register by the Electoral Commission (EC) last month, there have been pockets of violence at some registration centers.
The main opposition party has expressed worry over what they say are violent attacks and brutalities being meted out to NDC agents, officials, supporters, and innocent Ghanaians.
“We hereby urge all NDC supporters to defend themselves in line with the spirit of our 1992 Constitution, against any violent attacks by NPP thugs and any state-sponsored goons”, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah who is the Director of Elections of the NDC said while addressing the party’s press conference in Accra today.
He further indicated that the NDC will ensure they deal with thugs doing the bidding of the NPP when John Dramani Mahama wins the 2020 General Elections.
“NDC government will fish out and deal drastically with all NPP thugs and their collaborators in state security agencies who are currently being used to maim and intimidate innocent civilians”, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah added.
Read full statement below:
AN ADDRESS ON THE INCREASING INCIDENCE OF VIOLENCE, BRUTALITY AND INTIMIDATION AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE NDC AND GHANAIANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN THE ONGOING VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE, AT THE 8TH EDITION OF THE PARTY’S WEEKLY PRESS BRIEFING, HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 22ND JULY, 2020 AT THE NDC HEADQUARTERS, ACCRA.
Good morning distinguished friends from the media. Once again, I welcome you with gratitude to the Headquarters of the National Democratic Congress for the 8th edition of our Weekly Press Briefing.
We have invited you here today to address the widespread violent attacks and brutalities being meted out to NDC agents, officials, supporters and innocent Ghanaians, including media personnel in the ongoing voter registration exercise.
This issue has become topical and needs to be addressed because our nation is on a downward spiral, fast descending to the edge of the precipice, and the earlier men and women of conscience spoke, the better for our peace.
What are the crimes of these innocent civilians who are being beaten, attacked, maimed and killed? Friends, their only crime is to brave the odds, particularly in this period when COVID-19 is ravaging our country, to exercise their right to be registered as voters in the ongoing voter registration exercise, and to ensure vigilance needed to protect the integrity and sanctity of our electoral process.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, news broke in the early hours of Monday 20th July, about a gun-violence incident involving the Minister for Special Development Initiatives and the MP for the Awutu Senya East Constituency, Hawa Koomson that happened at the Step-to-Christ Polling station.
As you are already aware, Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson without any provocation, invaded a voter registration center in her constituency in the company of gun-wielding thugs of the NPP, assaulted NDC party agents, burnt motorcycles belonging to NDC supporters and fired sporadic gunshots thereby endangering the lives of her constituents and disrupting the entire voter registration exercise.
It is worthy to point out, that this incident is just one of several coordinated and unprovoked attacks on our members in the ongoing registration exercise in the Awutu Senya East Constituency by Hawa Koomson and her NPP goons who she has imported from Bawku.
These attacks started from the first day of the registration exercise when an NDC agent named Daniel Tachie Mensah at the Lamptey Mills Schools center was assaulted by hooligans numbering about fifteen (15) who were led by the Kasoa NPP Municipal Chief Executive, Michael Essuman Mensah. This case was reported to the Kasoa Divisional Police Command, yet no arrest has been made till date.
This was followed by another attack on a Branch Executive and party agent, one Ebenezer Tetteh whose head was smashed with a piece of concrete by a member of a gang of NPP bandits led by Hawa Koomson herself. This case has also been reported to the Kasoa divisional Police including a video capturing Francis Tetteh a known NPP thug hitting our party agent’s head with a block. Yet shockingly, the police have refused to act on this evidence till date.
The third attack was executed by these same gangsters brought in from Bawku by Hawa Koomson numbering about 13 on an NDC agent called Prosper, at Amuzukope. This very attack was led by Ato Koomson, the first child of Hawa Koomson.
Not satisfied with the aforementioned attacks, their next stop was at the Kasoa New Town electoral area which happens to be another stronghold of the NDC in Kasoa. “Nana One”, the NPP constituency youth organizer, and a member of the Delta forces that stormed the Ayawaso West Wougon bye-elections, led these gangsters of land guards to brutally assault NDC agents leaving them with deep cutlass wounds on their heads. Again, the case was reported to the Kasoa divisional police office with no arrest or invite made till date.
Two days before the shooting incident at the Step-To-Christ polling station, the NPP thugs led by Hawa Koomson attacked and assaulted our ward coordinator, Abdallah at the Joemends Electoral area.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, it is worth noting that all these violent attacks on our innocent supporters were committed by the same thugs imported from Bawku to Kasoa by Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson.
The NDC is totally disgusted by the thuggish and criminal shooting incident involving a gang of NPP thugs who were led by Hawa Koomson, which has received both and national and international condemnation, and which have been admitted by the Minister of State herself. We condemn in no uncertain terms such thuggery sponsored and led by a high-ranking government official and law maker who is supposed to uphold the law at all times.
Hawa Koomson has by this criminal act, and the several brazen brutalities she and her gang have meted to NDC supporters in the last couple of weeks, demonstrated that she is a gangster who doesn’t deserve to occupy any public position of trust. And, we join the many voices of conscience in our society to demand her immediate dismissal from office and prosecution for this heinous crime.
In any civilized society, this gangster Minister, would have been arrested, and made to stand prosecution by now. And this is exactly what her appointor, President Akufo-Addo should have done by now if he had any integrity, honor, and conscience left. But because he is the chief promoter and enabler of the unprecedented culture of lawlessness we are witnessing, we will not be surprised if Hawa Koomson is left off the hook like the several NPP criminals, such as “Double” and the “Azugu-masked” National Security Operatives who perpetrated the AWW violence, the NPP’s “Delta Force who attacked a court of competent jurisdiction in broad daylight etc., have been shielded from prosecution and punishment by the President.
We would therefore like to serve notice, that if Hawa Koomson is left off the hook by President Akufo-Addo as we anticipate will happen, the next NDC-Mahama government in the year 2021, shall arrest, prosecute and punish her and all the thugs who were involved in this unlawful shooting incident and other criminal acts.
Distinguished friends, the widespread atrocious attacks on our supporters across the country are being perpetrated by hoodlums and hooligans belonging to the New Patriotic Party under the leadership and direction of certain NPP Members of Parliament (MPs), Parliamentary Candidates and officials of the despotic Akufo-Addo government, who sensing imminent defeat in the upcoming December Polls, have resorted to desperate acts of violence and intimidation, to ostensibly impose their will on the Ghanaian people at all cost.
Even more bizarre, is the active involvement of some unscrupulous security officials, belonging to the once revered Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police service in these shameful acts of intimidation and barbaric attacks on NDC supporters and innocent civilians. This state-sponsored thuggery, as we have sometimes seen, is fast eroding all the gains we have chalked under our Fourth Republican democratic dispensation, and has the potential to plunge our once peaceful nation into total chaos.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you may recall that few weeks ago, we provided pictorial and video evidence of similar barbaric attacks against our agents and supporters during one of our Weekly Press Briefings and called on our Security Services to act. But till date, no concrete action has been taken by our security agencies to punish the perpetrators of these brazen acts of violence, and to protect our supporters and innocent Ghanaians from further attacks.
It is this inaction, and in some cases, the complicity and/or tacit approval of our security agencies, that has emboldened NPP thugs and brigands to escalate their atrocious attacks on NDC supporters and innocent civilians across the country, with utmost impunity, over the past two (2) weeks.
I shall at this juncture, recount just a few of the countless violence acts that our party agents and supporters and indeed other innocent Ghanaians have suffered at the hands of NPP hoodlums and their accomplices in state security agencies, in the last few weeks:
1. The unlawful invasion of the office of our Parliamentary candidate for the Ledzorkuku Constituency, Ben Ayiku, over the weekend by some NPP thugs and unscrupulous military officers, based on false and contrived intelligence that he was registering people at his office. Without finding any BVR equipment or evidence of voter registration at the office, these state-sponsored criminals seized the desktop computer at the office, locked up our Parliamentary Candidate, party officials and traditional rulers of the area who were having a meeting at the office at the time and subsequently arrested and detained the NDC constituency Chairman and Organizer for that Constituency for standing up to their intimidation antics.
2. The recent incident involving a Metro TV Journalist by name Alhaji Mustapha Ashley, who while covering the voter registration exercise in the Evalue Gwira Constituency, was assaulted and had his camera seized and recordings deleted by the bodyguard of Catherine Afeku, Minister of State and NPP Member of Parliament for the area.
3. In the Central Region, Akufo Addo's Invisible Forces operating directly under the NPP MPs and NPP Parliamentary Candidates have been brutalizing NDC Executives at the registration centers for insisting on the right thing being done.
In the Effutu Constituency for instance, our Deputy Central Regional Communication Officer - Comrade Lawrence Ghartey was brutally assaulted and nearly killed in the process by these hoodlums under the instructions of the NPP MP of the
Constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markins.
Also, our Constituency Secretaries for Ekumfi and Cape South, Comrades Edward Fayah and George Justice Arthur respectively, were brutally beaten by these same bandits belonging to the invisible forces, and have sustained several degrees of injuries from that attack
Again, our Constituency Youth Organizer for the Abura Asebu Kwamankese Constituency, Hon Eric Mensah has also been brutalized in addition to scores of branch executives, registration agents and party activists. One of the victims of these barbaric acts from Ekumfi Akoanso Kokodo who is our branch youth organizer, is currently battling for his life.
4. The violent invasion of the office premises of Mr. John Dumelo, NDC’s Parliamentary Candidate for the Ayawaso West Wagon Constituency, and subsequent brutal attacks on NDC party agents by NPP hooligans under the direction of the NPP MP, Lydia Seyram Alhassan cannot escape our mention.
5. Also, the leaked audio of the Bono East Regional Minister and NPP MP for Atebubu, Kofi Amoakohene who was heard addressing and directing a militia group of the NPP to ensure the registration of NPP minors, attack NDC supporters at registration centers and rig the ongoing voter registration exercise for the NPP, promising to reward them if the NPP wins the upcoming general elections is still fresh on our minds.
6. Ladies and gentlemen, the gruesome murder of a young promising Teacher Trainee in Banda, who was mistaken for an NDC Party Agent is the saddest of all. The culprit, a known NPP Vigilante and brother to the NPP Parliamentary Candidate, Joe Danquah had earlier been arrested for attacking some NDC supporters in the area, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim but was sadly released within 20 minutes following an “order from above”. Obviously emboldened by the “order from above”, and feeling untouchable, he immediately resumed his criminal activities and took them a notch higher by gruesomely murdering the innocent Teacher Trainee. That a young life with so much promise would be curtailed due to the NPP’s lust for power is tragic and should not be tolerated.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the sad irony is that, while the NPP hoodlums who have perpetrated all these heinous crimes have been left off the hook, innocent NDC officials and supporters are being harassed on a daily basis by our security agencies, which see nor hear all the evil that the ruling NPP and their state-sponsored thugs are unleashing.
Only yesterday, our Parliamentary Candidate for Efutu, Dr. James Kofi Annan was arrested and charged by the police for offensive conduct. His only crime is that he dared to criticize the Police Commander for Efutu who has become an appendage and accomplice to the violent acts being supervised by the NPP MP for the area, Alexander Afenyo Markin, by uttering these words: “You are chairman of the committee and so what, You're the reason why we're not enjoying peace in Winneba.”
The fact that these innocuous words could warrant such harassment from the Police highlights how low this nation has sunk, and further accentuates the state-sponsored terror that NDC supporters and other party officials are being subjected to at the hands of the despotic and tyrannical NPP/Akufo Addo-government.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, given the poisoned atmosphere we find ourselves in at the moment, with Government officials who have clearly weaponized themselves and their criminal goons to foment more trouble, we can only see looming trouble ahead of the December polls.
The National Democratic Congress takes this opportunity to salute all its gallant supporters, Parliamentary Candidates, Agents and our rank and file for standing up to these cowardly acts of intimidation being championed by known NPP thugs and their criminal collaborators in our state security agencies. We urge our members not to despair, for as sure as day follows night, good shall surely triumph over the evil. The great NDC party is winning the 2020 General Elections no matter the amount of violence the state and its thugs will met out to innocent citizens of this country.
We hereby urge all NDC supporters to defend themselves in line with the spirit of our 1992 Constitution, against any violent attacks by NPP thugs and any state-sponsored goons.
We further wish to sound a note of caution to some state Security Officials who have lent themselves as willing and pliant agents of violence against political opponents and innocent Ghanaians against their criminal acts. We wish to remind them that power emanates from the people, hence whatever power they exercise must be done in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people.
As the venerable former President Kuffour once said, “power can trick you”! Do not be deceived by political power, because the tables will soon turn, and a new NDC government will fish out and deal drastically with all NPP thugs and their collaborators in state security agencies who are currently being used to maim and intimidate innocent civilians.
God bless our homeland Ghana.