The Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, has explained that the masked men described as intimidating at polling stations during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, were sanctioned security personnel, and that they were not members of a vigilante group as some had claimed.
He confirmed on the Citi Breakfast Show that “we deployed the men. They are with us and some of them had masks.”“It is not like they came from somewhere and they were just engaged. They were part of the setup that we deployed yesterday.”
There was a shooting incident near a La Bawaleshie polling centre that temporarily disrupted the polls.
Observers criticized the police presence as excessive and intimidating. There were also concerns raised over the inability to identify some of the men whose faces were covered with balaclavas.
Mr. Acheampong said the deployment of security personnel described by onlookers as intimidating was “standard to all by-elections that I have been.”
“Every deployment is based on the information that you receive and so you deploy in preparedness for the information that you have. Whether they are in masks, they are in slippers, they are plain clothes, it doesn’t matter. You need to protect the public.”
According to the police, six persons were injured during the shooting incident, and were sent to the 37 military and Legon hospitals for treatment.
Investigations are currently ongoing into the incident.
The NDC withdrew from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election following the shooting incident and ordered its polling agents and observers from the area.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, was also at the wrong end of some security personnel as he was seen being struck in the face by two security personnel in a viral video.
Mr. Acheampong also assured that the assault on the MP would be investigated.
The widow of the late MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Alhassan, emerged victorious in the poll with 12, 041 votes representing 68.30%.
Despite the boycott, the NDC’s Delali Kwasi Brempong polled 5, 341 votes representing 30.52% whiles William Dowokpor of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Clement Boadi of the Liberal Party of Ghana both polled 102 and 17 votes respectively.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa | citinewsroom.com | Ghana