Former President John Mahama has once more warned the government against further deployment of armed persons he described as hoodlums, to any future elections in Ghana as such persons will be met with force to retreat.
He had earlier on Thursday stated no political party in Ghana can beat his National Democratic Congress when it comes to unleashing violence because of its revolutionary history; a statement that has been condemned by many.
That comment was on the back of the violent incident recorded near a polling station at the just ended Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election where heavily armed hooded masked men said to be operatives of national security stormed, triggering shooting of at least eight persons.
Despite the condemnation, Mahama said, the people of Ghana though peaceful, will not sit aloof for such persons to be deployed to any election again because they will resist that.
“They shall never deploy such a force in any election in Ghana again; we will resist it! You haven’t seen armed men running away before? When the power of the people come after you, you will run,” Mahama replied critics who have demanded he apologise for his earlier statement.
Though the police denied knowing the operatives whose action spilled over to a polling station and temporiarly disrupted voting, Minister of State in charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong said those personnel were his men.
He justified the deployment of the gun-toting national security men to the area during voting hours, stating they were only acting on actionable intelligence which they had been working on for the last month.
But Mahama suggested the action by the National Security Council was unconstitutional because per the 1992 constitution, the Council is not required to have any sort of force for deployment.
“Go and read the constitution, the duty of the National Security Council is not to control a force, they coordinate the existing security services. They are not supposed to have hoodlums dressed in Police uniforms using police vehicles and firing bullets at pour innocent civilians,” he stated.Mr. Mahama expressed surprised at the Police for not controlling the said security operatives and allowed them to go rampage on persons he said were innocent civilians.
He reminded the IGP that the Police Service is principal security when in any elections and “not Invisible Forces, it’s not delta forces”.
“All those people they shot were unarmed, they were not holding anything and yet they discharged weapons and eight people today have received gunshot wounds,” he said.
Apology a no, no?
The former president was surprised that some people and organisations who did not condemn the incident by the supposed hoodlums eventually found their voices to demand of him an apology for stating the peaceful NDC was equally good at unleashing violence.
“When we talk, it is rather me they are accusing because I said if they continue what they are doing we will be forced to defend ourselves and they say I should come and apologise. The one who has been shot, I should come and apologise, meanwhile he won’t condemn the one who shot,” he replied.
He said Ghanaians will going forward will not tolerate such reckless acts by hoodlums under the guise of national security.
“We are serving them notice. The deputy minister of state in charge of security has said they were responsible for the deployment. We are serving them notice; they shall never deploy such people in any election in Ghana again,” he warned.