Former President John Dramani Mahama has reacted to claims by government that, he peddled falsehood when he meet with diplomats on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election.
Mr Mahama says no amount of propaganda will take away the stigma of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
addressing a news conference in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, described the actions of Mr. Mahama as unfortunate and called on the former President to apologise as his actions are prejudicial to the work of the Commission of Enquiry set up by President Akufo-Addo to look into the alleged cases of violence that characterized the elections.
”First, this is unfortunate act by a former President of the republic as it is prejudicial to the work of the committee. As one who has occupied the highest office of the land, it is unthinkable that he will make pronouncements that seek to prejudice or undermine the work of an fact finding committee at a meeting where he has invited diplomats so to do. We do not believe that in the various countries where diplomats come from, this prejudicial undermining conduct will be countenanced” he said.
In the said interaction, Mr. Mahama showed the diplomats two sets of videos;
One (a video from a legitimate media house) the content of which is the subject matter of an ongoing Presidential Commission of inquiry.
A second set (which includes 2 videos) which he claimed was evidence of members of an NPP vigilante group at the funeral of the former MP for Ayawaso West Wougon and earlier providing security for the NPP Parliamentary candidate in that by election.
Mr. Nkrumah said government will this week be serving notice to the members of the diplomatic community that two of the three videos and the narratives that the former President gave to them on the said videos are palpably false and designed at tarnishing Ghana’s hard worn reputation in the eyes of the international community.
He explained that the first video which purports to show some security persons singing and dancing at a funeral, which security persons the former President told them were NPP vigilante men in song and dance at the funeral of the former MP for the area Hon Kyeremanten Agyarko and which security persons were responsible for the Ayawaso West Wougon incident at the residence of the NDCs Parliamentary candidate is False.
“Indeed that video is a video of Policemen who had attended a funeral of a fellow police officer and had nothing to do with the late Agyarko’s funeral” he added.
Mr. Nkrumah said there was also no evidence that the Policemen who attended the funeral of their Colleague were even involved in either the police operation at Ayawaso West Wougon or the SWAT operation at the residence of the NDC candidate.
“Mr. Mahama’s presentation to the diplomats of that video as evidence of a said NPP vigilante group involved in the Ayawaso West Wougon incidents is false and should be treated as such. The family of Mr. Agyarko has even had cause to deny this and the government will bring this formally to the attention of the diplomats. Ghana is regaining its place in the community of nations and her government will allow no person for whatever parochial interest to undercut our collective gains” the Minister said.
But the former president in his reaction said, “No amount of propaganda from government can erase the shame this country was subjected to on that ‘bloody Thursday’.
In any case, this is not the first, and will not be the last time in our history that an opposition group is meeting with the diplomatic corps to explain or clarify its version or outlook on policy or events in our country.”
Below is the full statement by John Mahama
No amount of government sponsored propaganda and distraction will take away the stigma of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, as darkest day in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republican democracy.
The substance of the matter is the violence meted out to innocent Ghanaians by hoodlums of the ruling government, paraded initially as state security personnel.
Thanks to videos filmed by television stations and other individuals, the true identity of these hoodlums, identified as members of the Invincible and Delta Forces of the NPP have been revealed.
The victims, injured on the day, did not take guns and shoot themselves. They were injured by powerful assault rifles given to partisan hoodlums for the purpose of intimidating Ghanaians who were peacefully exercising their franchise in a by-election.
The meeting held by my office in conjunction with the NDC Party and the Minority in Parliament was to correct the false impression given to the diplomatic corps that NDC was the cause of the violence in Ayawaso West Wuogon.
No amount of propaganda from government can erase the shame this country was subjected to on that ‘bloody Thursday’.
In any case, this is not the first, and will not be the last time in our history that an opposition group is meeting with the diplomatic corps to explain or clarify its version or outlook on policy or events in our country.
Government must own up to its responsibilities and ensure the prosecution of the criminal elements who it deployed in Ayawaso West Wuogon. It is those actions that paint the country black internationally, not those who expose the dastardly acts sanctioned by government and its appointees.
In the public interest, let me share with you, one of the three main videos I showed at the Wednesday meeting with diplomats on the violence in Ayawaso West Wuogon. This, like the others, is a compilation available and shared widely by various media houses over the period.