The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Wosemewu Armah Blay, has described as “pointless”, calls on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to terminate the appointment of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East Constituency, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, for firing gunshots at a registration centre.
According to Mr Blay, the calls are “needless” and must be disregarded.
Mrs Koomson admitted to firing a warning shot that marred the voter registration exercise at a centre within the Awutu Senya East Constituency (Kasoa) on Monday, 20 July 2020.
The MP for the Constituency said she took a gun to the centre for personal protection in her attempt to stop the parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Phyllis Naa Koryoo, from busing aliens to the area to register.
At least, three motorbikes were burnt in the mayhem.
Several organisations including the National Peace Council have called for the termination of the appointment of the MP for Awutu Senya East.
However, a statement issued by the NPP National Chairman said despite the Awutu Senya East MP’s explanation about the circumstances that led to her conduct, “it is most worrying to see different groups expected to be more objective in their submissions, rather fall for the propaganda and misrepresentation of the opposition NDC in relations to the matter.”
According to Mr Blay, “With the unfolding evidence and facts surrounding the incident, it is clear that her actions were in self-defence to the unwarranted attacks on her and her team by masked motorists invited by the NDC to disrupt the EC registration process in her constituency”.
“Arguably, Mrs Hawa Koomson is one of the calmest female representatives of the NPP in Parliament and there is no evidence of any sort that can suggest her to be a violent individual, even in the face of extreme provocation. Unfortunately, the NDC’s ploy to stage confusion at registration centres across the country in their quest to discredit the electoral processes and create disaffection for the NPP seems to be gaining momentum. However, the NPP has an obligation to its members and admirers, to ensure it protects the hard-earned democratic reputation of the party.”
Mr Blay continued: “It would have been expected that those individuals and institutions who have found their voices after this unfortunate incident, even to the extent of calling for the resignation and/or dismissal of Mrs Hawa Koomson, undertook a more rational assessment of the facts before unfairly ostracising her and calling her names”.
“They have failed to evaluate the extent of fear and trauma this lady, mother and leader had experienced following the siege on her by sufficiently outnumbered armed hooligans hired by the NDC to disrupt the EC registration process”, the statement said.
“Besides preventing the Member of Parliament from witnessing the process in her constituency, evidential attacks on her convoy clearly demonstrate premeditation of events by the opposition NDC to humiliate, intimidate and molest her”, the NPP argued.
The statement further called “on the good people of Ghana to exercise restraint in their utterances and conduct with respect to this matter.”
It further cautioned “the CSOs, journalists and the army of security experts commenting on” the issue to “resist the temptation of emotional outbursts that are likely to fuel the violent desires of the opposition NDC, creating more indiscipline among their followers during the EC registration process and subsequently, the general elections. It is most regrettable to find highly-placed individuals resorting to name-calling and equally falling for the propaganda scheme of the opposition NDC to make light the commitment” of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo in fighting against vigilantism and political violence in Ghana.
The NPP National Chairman further stated: “The pointless calls on the President to terminate the appointment of Hon Hawa Koomson is absolutely needless and must be totally disregarded. Let the good people of Ghana see such enthusiasm channelled into productive discussions aimed at addressing the fundamental concerns of recklessness and provocations of the NDC during this registration process.”
The statement further called on “the party’s leadership at the regional and constituency levels to continue exercising restraint while remaining vigilant in foiling attempts by the opposition NDC to indulge in all forms of illegalities as far as the EC’s new voter registration process is concerned.”
It also urged “the security agencies stationed at polling stations to remain forthright in ensuring that petitioners follow due process in challenging suspected unqualified individuals desirous of registering for the new voters’ ID.”
Mr Blay also encouraged “the Ghanaian middle-class society and professionals to take some time off their busy schedules and go out in their numbers to participate in the new voter registration process, observing all the COVID-19 protocols.
‘Let us not stand aloof and uninvolved, but prepare to cast our votes and support the good economic policies of the Nana Akufo Addo-led administration that inures to the benefit of us all. We must not make us lose faith in the prospects of our chosen democratic path.”
It added that: “The NPP remains open for the exploration of direct talks with the opposition NDC and other political parties on issues of common interest and concern, moving away from the normal practice of frequently engaging an arbiter in mediating affairs of political parties.”