Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has called on President Akufo-Addo to bring the perpetrators of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence to book to demonstrate his commitment to ensuring peace in the 2020 general elections, ABC News can report.
The former President, who is seeking re-election after leading the NDC to a historic defeat in 2016 as an incumbent, said it behoves President Akufo-Addo to ensure peace and stability in the country in the lead up to the general elections, indicating that leaving such people off the hook does not provide enough assurance to the citizenry.
John Mahama urged President Akufo-Addo to restore confidence of the people in the security of the country by implementing certain vital recommendations of the Short Commission.
“As we go to the polls in 2020, President 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 as we observed last year during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election,” he said in his New Year message to Ghanaians.
He assured that “on my part, I will continue to work for peace and urge the president to do the same and as a first step I suggest he stops shielding the perpetrators of the Ayawaso West Wuogon. He must have them face the appropriate sanctions.”
The government, last year, issued a White Paper rejecting some key recommendations of the Emile Short Commission, which was instituted to probe the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
The government, for instance, rejected the Commission’s recommendation for the prosecution of Mohammed Sulemana, the SWAT officer captured on camera assaulting Sam George, Ningo-Prampram MP, on grounds that he (MP) made some provocative statements
John Mahama also believed that the Electoral Commission has a crucial role play in ensuring peace in the elections and urged the institution to live up to expectation.
He noted that democracy in Ghana is a perfect module for many countries and that the nation cannot afford to lose that status.
“Let us hope and work a better and prosperous Ghana in 2020 and beyond. Let us hope and work for a peaceful Ghana that offers an opportunity for all of us and not just a few.
“The year 2020 is an election year and the eyes of the world will continue to be fixed on us as we go the polls,” he said.
“We need to meet the highest standards set by previous electoral commissions and even better,” he stated.