The violence that marred the recently-held Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election portends danger for Ghana’s security, Dr Kwasi Anin, a security analyst, has said.
The Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana, told Kwabena Prah Jnr (The Don) on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM Friday, 8 February 2019 that: “Ayawaso has taught us a lesson that we are on a dangerous, slippery slope to chaos”.
“There are statutory security forces – Police, Immigration, Customs, NADMO [National Disaster Management Organisation], and above all, the Armed Forces. If you put away all these organisations and allow those, who engaged in the violence in a democracy governed by rule of law and respect for human rights and statutory institutions, then you are almost declaring war on your own people.
“There are a lot of questions to ask: Where from these people? Who brought them? Where were they trained? How were they funded? Who do they report to?”
Some heavily-armed National Security operatives shot and wounded supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the private residence of the NDC’s candidate about an hour into the by-election on Thursday, 31 January 2019.
Some civilians were also beaten up, including a member of parliament, Mr Sam George. He was slapped in the melee in the full glare of some police officers.
The police, in a press release, said statements have been taken from 16 victims of the shooting incident, adding that a statement form has been issued to Mr Sam George to submit for necessary action.
In Dr Aning’s estimation, “Vigilantism is getting out of hands”, adding that: “For security to work, there should be trust, there should be respect, there should be discipline”.
He pointed out, however, that “there is so much suspicion, nobody trusts anybody and, so, matters that could have been dealt with without the involvement of the security are unable to be resolved without the police, particularly among the political and economic elite”.
He said: “There is a huge gap between the rhetoric and the practices when it comes to commitment to dealing with insecurity”, noting that: “We have a long way to go.”