The Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Joseph Whittal has described calls for former President John Mahama to apologize for his explosive reaction in the aftermath of the mayhem that characterized the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election as unfair.
Mahama reacting to the chaos in which six people, believed to be supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) were shot at the Baweleshie center of the constituency, warned the NDC could be more violent and rowdy than the NPP.
“I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence no one can beat us to that,” Mahama said.
Mahama’s comments have upset many including the National Peace Council. The chairman of National Peace Council Professor Emmanuel Asante urged Mahama and other political leaders to be circumspect in their utterances.
“I urge him (Mahama) to tone down. I believe he may have spoken on the heat of what happened yesterday so I appeal to him to calm down,” Professor Asante told Star FM on Friday.
Others went as far as calling on the former president to apologize for what they say were unguarded comments unbefitting of his status—a demand Whittal dismissed out rightly.
Speaking in an interview, the CHRAJ boss said it is unfair to demand an apology from Mahama when same was not demanded from others including the Interior Minister and the National Security.
“I don’t think his statements are in good taste. But to then call upon him to apologize when we have not called on National Security to come and apologize for this brazen attack on democracy, I don’t think it is fair,” Whittal said.
Dangerous sign ahead of 2020
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Thursday warned that the violence that characterized by-election was a dangerous sign ahead of the 2020 general elections.
“It will be extremely difficult for us as a nation to quench a fire of national violent unrest once it gets started,” warned the NCCE urging immediate action.
CHRAJ in an earlier statement called on the Inspector General of Police to take steps to punish the masked individuals who inflicted mayhem on voters.
“The Commission believes that the security arrangements for this by-election by the Ghana Police Service were inadequate, and the deployment of heavily armed, masked and hooded security personnel to the La Bawaleshie polling center to harass, intimidate, and shoot indiscriminately into the electorate, harming some in the process, as criminal and dastardly acts that should not be allowed to go unpunished,” it said.
The United Nations Development Program has condemned the violence urging Ghanaians in a statement not be complacent about the peace being enjoyed in the country.