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‘We won’t tolerate Wuogon-like thuggery in 2020’ – Alabi

A flag bearer-aspirant of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof Joshua Alabi, has condemned the violence recorded during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Thursday, 31 January 2019.

He has warned that such violence will not be accepted in the build-up to the 2020 general elections and has called on the government and state institutions to crush any form of electoral violence.

“The use of violence in elections and within the conduct of any democratic exercise, cannot and will not be countenanced in the run-up to the 2020 general elections.

“The government and all state institutions mandated to maintain law and order must remain loyal to our sacred Constitution and rid our politics of all forms of violence,” the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), said in a statement in reaction to the shooting incident at La-Bawaleshie JHS polling station during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election by some macho men believed to be National Security operatives, which injured six people.

During the melee, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, was assaulted by some hooded and totally masked security operatives.

In his statement condemning the incident, Prof Alabi entreated the supporters and sympathisers of the NDC not to be frightened by the act of violence displayed during the by-election.

“While I lend my support to the national leadership of our party as they address these matters through democratic means, I wish to call on party supporters to be resolute and not be intimidated by persons who believe that the only way to win political power is to deploy force and violence,” he added.

“I wish the injured NDC members a speedy recovery and assure them of my sincerest sympathies and utmost support in these difficult times,” he added.

Below is the full statement:

I have been informed of the incidence of shooting and other related acts of violence in unprovoked attacks, resulting in some members of our great NDC party sustaining serious injuries during the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency by-election.

While I commiserate with the injured and traumatized victims, I wish to absolutely condemn these acts of violence being visited upon law abiding citizens who are exercising a democratic right to vote in an election.

I have also been briefed about the unusual activities of supposed policemen clad in unfamiliar uniforms with masks, armed with AK-47 assault rifles with no badge numbers or name tags and patrolling within the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in a manner that voters find intimidating.

The Ghana Police Service owes itself a duty to explain the use of such an unknown unit in a by-election of this sort, investigate the horrendous crimes committed today and prosecute the culprits in no time.

While I lend my support to the national leadership of our party as they address these matters through democratic means, I wish to call on party supporters to be resolute and not be intimidated by persons who believe that the only way to win political power is to deploy force and violence.

The use of violence in elections and within the conduct of any democratic exercise cannot and will not be countenanced in the run-up to the 2020 general elections. The government and all State institutions mandated to maintain law and order must remain loyal to our sacred Constitution and rid our politics of all forms of violence.

I wish the injured NDC members a speedy recovery and assure them of my sincerest sympathies and utmost support in these difficult times.

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