Thursday, July 09, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 09, 2015

Former President, Jerry John Rawlings is angry over violence-filled Talensi by-election on Tuesday which ruling NDC candidate, B.T. Baba emerged winner.

He wants perpetrators of the violence punished to serve as deterrent to others.

No has arrest has been made by the police betraying the request of Mr Rawlings.

The NDC founder had said “a strong message has to be sent to persons intent on institutionalizing violence, especially during election periods. And the security agencies should enforce the law without fear or favour and without any political bias whatsoever.”

The former President expressed the concern in the wake of violence between supporters of the ruling NDC and opposition NPP during the by-election in the Upper East Region.

He said news about the situation in Talensi was a matter of grave concern and the law enforcement agencies should act with dispatch to apprehend all those known to have participated in the acts of violence, assault, shooting and vandalism.

Members of the NDC and the NPP engaged in a free for all fight amid gunshots in the Talensi constituency leading to some casualties in spite of the huge presence of police cum military as well as other security agencies.

There were concealed weapons in some vehicles that were entering the area and the security agencies were able to intercept some of them even though they surprisingly did not arrest persons possessing the weapons and allowed them to go unpunished.

There were news of attacks on high profile personalities from both the NPP and the NDC.

The NPP’s first Vice Chairman, Freddie Blay, former General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John were among those who were attacked while they were monitoring the election in some interior areas on the constituency, by thugs believed to be connected to the NDC’s Azoka Boys.

The Builsa North District Chief Executive’s official car was also vandalized by some youth in front of the NPP constituency office.

NDC’s notorious Azorka boys stormed the constituency with its leader, Sofo Azorka, who is the party’s Northern Regional Chairman, in front and allegedly attacked NPP supporters in a broad daylight in the presence of the police and the Interior Minister, Marko Woyongo who has since justified the attack.

No Arrest
However, the police say nobody has been arrested in connection with the bloody attacks.

“We also mounted snap checks at strategic locations within the constituency and all highways leading to the constituency.  Our intelligence teams were also firmly on the ground.

“Generally, these policing strategies and measures worked perfectly with isolated incidents of violence which we condemn in no uncertain terms.  Indeed, at various snap checks points, a number of offensive weapons including cudgels, cutlasses, daggers, guns and ammunition were seized from a number of individuals.  

“All the holders of the offensive weapons were properly identified for purposes of further investigations and possible prosecution. They were thereafter allowed to participate in the process and exercise their franchise where applicable after we established that they posed no further security threats”, a statement from the Police Affairs Directorate and signed by 

DCOP David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, Director-General said.

The statement said that all political vigilante groups henceforth would not be tolerated naming such groups as Azorka Boys, Bamba Boys, Invincible Forces and Bolga Bull.

“The Police recognizes the constitutional rights of individuals to form and belong to associations, as provided in Article 21 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.  However, we want to emphasize that it is unlawful for political parties, groups, organizations or individuals to encourage the formation of vigilante groups and other associations that assume the character of a security organization, unless that person, group or organization has been granted a licence for that purpose under Police Service (Private Security Organisation) Regulation, 1992 (LI 1571)”.

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