Leaders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Evalue Ajomoro Gwira in the Western Region have warned that they would no longer take the unprovoked attacks on their members and parliamentary candidate. They will respond appropriately since the police have on countless occasions failed to act professionally.
The assault visited on the members and parliamentary candidate have been reported to the district police, but the police have failed their job as peace officers, a situation that has emboldened the perpetrators, the NDC said.
Addressing a press conference in Axim, the Regional Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Joseph Nelson reminded the constituency wing of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) not to derail the enviable peaceful records of the region.
He said it was sad that after decades of democracy during which the NDC and NPP have co-existed peacefully, the desperate approach to hang on to power by the incumbent MP, Mrs Catherine Afeku and her associates has resulted in a serious threat to the peace in the region.
“We want to say that the source of this threat is the misconduct of the Member of Parliament for the Evalue Ajomoro Gwira Constituency, Mrs Catherine Afeku who should be called to order,” he said.
Mr. Nelson said the electorate in Evalue Ajomoro are witnesses to the ugly incidents in the constituency perpetrated by the MP and her thugs, and the NDC had been at the receiving end. It has however reached its limit, he said.
The NDC, he said, recalled that on July 12, the bodyguard of the MP who is a serving police officer, physically assaulted the NDC’s constituency elections director at the Axim Community Centre on the instructions of the MP.
He said the NDC officer was only going about his legitimate duties as prescribed by the electoral laws and did not flout any law to warrant such an assault from the police officer.
“Again on July 16, 2020 another member of the NDC and the parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Mr. Kofi Arko Nokoe was physically attacked and his phone taken from him after he was slapped by an aide of Mrs. Afeku.
The aide of Mrs Afeku, he said, only justified his action by saying Mr. Kofi Arko Nokoe was using his phone to record him and that is why he slapped him and seized his phone.
He said the behaviour of Mrs Afeku and her associates, in all of these instances, constitutes a blatant display of impunity and provocation of the NDC, “but we remained calm and law-abiding because of our peaceful nature.”
“We have taken steps to report the cases to the police, with the hope that the police would effectively deal with them and ensure that justice is served. However, the conduct of the police is not the best,” he said.
The regional secretary said it is important for the police to note that they are peace officers and that they need to defend and protect the public confidence reposed in them and their uniforms as police officers.
“As we have it, the police are yet to measure up to that standard and expectation of the public on their part as officers of the law. These developments have left us very disappointed”, he said.
He said the police should remember that if they continue this way during the general elections on December 7, which has begun with the ongoing registration exercise, all may not be well. “We want to let you know that this is not our first election, however this level of acrimony and intimidation being perpetrated by the MP and her associates is denting the image of the police and poses a risk to our democracy.”
“Our message to the police is that, there is a limit to what everybody can tolerate, we can no longer sit idle and watch our people abused for no reason without appropriate action from the police representing peace, law and order”, he said.
“The laws of this country allow for self-defense, if the police fail to protect and act on reports of intimidation and assault reported to them, we shall take steps to defend ourselves from now on, we want the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to know his men are here for all and should call them to order.
“Let it be on record that we have had enough and we from now on shall respond appropriately to any future attacks on our people and the only way out is for the police to bring a firm and unbiased conclusion to the cases pending before them.”