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15.12.2004 General News

Press Statement From Information Minister

By MINISTRY OF INFORMATION

Ghana's Minister for Information, Hon.Nana Akomea, today in Accra presented Government's Statement to the media on Events in Tamale in the Nortern Region during and after the December 7,2004 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in the country.(Read full text of his address)

The NDC held a press conference three days ago addressed by the NDC Chairman Dr. Obed Asamoah.

At the conference, Dr. Asamoah catalogued alleged attacks against NDC Supporters in Tamale and Dagbon in general and lamented that government seemed unconcerned about the security situation in Dagbon, especially about protection of life and property of NDC members and supporters.

This is far from the truth. Government's concern for peace and security in Dagbon (especially after the killing of the Yana) is demonstrated by the operation of state of emergency and curfew for close to two (2) years.

The attempt to present the election and post election situation in Dagbon as unprovoked one sided attacks by NPP supporters against NDC supporters is not true.

This attempt has the danger of turning a worrying security situation in the area with real threats to life and property, into a partisan political point scoring game.

Information so far received indicates that the violence and threats to life and property in Tamale and Dagbon has been perpetrated by both parties.

The NPP Youth Organizer and the NPP Candidate for Tamale Central Constituency met the press this morning to present instances of brutalities and supporters in Dagbon.

What is important at this point is to note that sporadic election violence have occurred against members of both NDC and NPP.

Responsible leadership of both parties should strive for thorough investigations into all election related violence so as to forestall such incidents in our democratic development.

Attempting to politicize such unfortunate incidents does no party or our democratic any good.

Dr.Asamoah's statement singled out the unfortunate death of Alhaji Issa Mobila while in custody.

During the night of 8/12/04 and dawn of 9/12/04 sporadic shootings occurred in Tamale , particularly in the suburbs of Lamsheggu, Sakasaka, Chogu and Aboabo".

Mr. Mobila was arrested by the security agencies and questioned on his suspected involvement in distribution of firearms in the Tamale metropolis just before the elections.

He had to be transferred from the Tamale Central Police station to the military barracks following threats of mob attack on the Police to rescue him.

It should be noted that mob attacks on the Tamale Central Police station have occurred regularly in similar situations. Mr. Mobile unfortunately later died in custody.

It is noteworthy in connection with this death that the I.G.P. has instituted full scale inquiry to be conducted by CID officers from Accra into the criminal aspects of this death.

The Army Commander, in accordance with the rules has also set up a Board of Enquiry to establish how Alhaji Mobila died whilst in military custody.

Let us give the CID and the Army Board of Enquiry the space to do their work with dispatch in this initial instance.

The press, in particular is being urged to take active interest in this inquiry to unearth the truth in this unfortunate death. The press will be kept fully informed of the outcome of the inquiry.

Dr Asamoah's attempt to politicize this death as an NPP vendetta is unfortunate, as Alhaji Mobila was actually the CPP Northern regional Chairman, and not a leading member of NDC.

In his desperation to achieve political point scoring, Dr Asamoah went further to cite instances of election related violence in 1992 and 1996.

He cites the 1992 killing of the NDC Chairman of Effia Kwesimintsim constituency, and 1996 killing of an NDC supporter in Kumasi.

In 1992 and 1996, the NDC formed the government in which Dr Asamoah was a high ranking Cabinet Minister. That government in all that period could not conduct investigations into these incidents.

Today, 14 years later, we are being told that the NDC government knew those who committed these acts, but did noting about it.

This is just an aspect of the NDC propaganda strategy that led ex-President Rawlings to allege that the murders of 33 women in this country from 1994 to 2000, when the NDC was in power were committed by the NPP.

In this instance as well, it is only when the NDC was voted out of power that they discovered that the NPP was responsible for the murders of the women.

I will like to reiterate that election violence have occurred and they are a matter of regret and a blot on our democracy. They have not affected just one party, so responsible leadership of both parties should strive for thorough investigations into all election related violence so as to forestall such incidents in our democratic development.

Attempting to politicize such unfortunate incidents does no party or our democratic any good.

It is noteworthy to conclude that at the same press conference at which Dr Asamoah bemoaned alleged harassment, the same supposedly harassed NDC supporters harassed, insulted, heckled and vandalized equipment of the pressmen and women who had been invited to hear the NDC message of NPP harassment.

You the press and Ghanaians in general are the better judges of the Political party which has a "culture of Violence".

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