General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has condemned the radical and Rambo style violence that occurred at the Steps to Christ polling station at Awutu Senya East in the Central Region on Monday.
However, he is urging for cool heads to prevail at the various polling stations where various forms of violence are being perpetrated in the ongoing registration exercise.
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ programme, he explained that if political parties are not ready to stick to their decision to stay away from acts that cause violence, then more of these forms of violence is expected.
“The fact is, we as political parties must be willing to ensure a peaceful environment for both the registration and voting exercise. Acts such as bussing people and illegally registering people at various polling centres will always create some form of violence as both parties will not agree to that and hence may ignite some form of violence.”
“We are only urging the police to do the right thing and restore peace in the area, but if things continue this way then people will be forced to protect themselves,” he added.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has described the action of the Member of Parliament for Awutu-Senya East Constituency, Hon Mavis Hawa Koomson as “disturbing” and “selfish” for firing gunshots at a registration centre.
CODEO has however condemned the actions of the Special Development Initiatives Minister for firing a gun at a voters’ registration centre at Kasoa in the Central Region.
Hawa Koomson’s gunshot
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Awutu Senya East Constituency, Mavis Hawa Koomson has admitted to firing shots at a voter registration centre in her constituency on Monday, July 20, 2020 “to protect herself”.
Ms Koomson who doubles as the Minister of Special Development Initiatives in a television interview on Adom TV on Monday evening said she fired “warning shots” because “there were no police around”.
She said she went to the centre after receiving information that people from outside the constituency were bussed to register there as voters.
According to her, she received information last week Thursday when she visited the Step to Christ registration centre, that members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) were transporting [bussing] people from outside the constituency, from Gomoa East and Nsawam to come and register at the Step to Christ polling station.
She claimed that particular polling station was her [NPP] stronghold and has never lost an election in that polling station [2012 and 2016].
She said she told her informant that when she sees it again, she should call her.
She said she got information again that it was happening last Friday but could not go there and there was a break on Saturday.
But on Sunday evening, she received another information that some people have been transported again from Nsawam and Gomoa East to come and register at the centre.
So she decided to visit the registration centre on Monday morning.
According to her, her Manager took the lead and arrived at the centre earlier but when she arrived at the scene, there were many boys on motorbikes and she felt her people’s life and that of her’s were in danger, so she fired the warning shots in an attempt to scare them, she said.
“I didn’t direct it at anybody,” she added and explained she did not have her police escort with her at the time.
The incident occurred at the centre situated at the Step to Christ polling station.
Reports indicate there were other gunshots apart from the one from Hawa Koomson.
Some motorbikes were burnt at the centre and EC officials at the centre were attacked as well during the confusion which disrupted the registration process for a while.
The police later intervened and arrested four people after the shooting. A gun was seized by the police.