Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, has waded into the ongoing condemnation of the Ayawaso West Wuogon electoral violence, saying the deployment of masked heavily-built men under the guise of National Security is “barbaric”.
He says their participation was unnecessary and no amount of security explanation can justify such a cruel and monstrous display of security.
Heavily armed men, alleged to be members of NPP-affiliated vigilante group, shot and wounded several members of the NDC at the private residence of the NDC’s candidate about an hour into the by-election.
Prof Martey, in a statement, said: “The violence and insecurity that day ridiculed the democratic credentials of this nation and I am still shocked at the presence of masked heavily built men under the guise of National Security at some polling stations.
“I join many Ghanaians in totally condemning this barbaric act of violence which has dented our democratic credentials as a nation.
“Are we ridiculing the rule of law in this country? How could members of parliament, also leaders of this country, be assaulted for no crime committed and guns shot in a private house on an election day to disrupt voting at the La-Bawaleshie Presbyterian polling station near the house where the guns were fired? When good people keep quiet, evil people take over. Enough is enough. We’re not in a jungle state”, he said.
Below is the full statement:
A PRESS RELEASE
On my handing over as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, I decided not to continue speaking on national issues as I was frequently doing while in office. This practice, I believe, is to allow and give the incumbent Moderator the full space to represent the church’s views on issues of national development and democratic values.
I have always believed that leadership is like a relay race, and when one gets the baton one runs as fast as one could until he hands over the baton to another person. As soon as he hands over the baton, he then stops running and continues to cheer to victory. That is why I have restricted myself, since handing over as Moderator of the oldest and continuously existing church in this country, in actively speaking in public functions where my views on national issues may be sought.
However, I have to painfully depart from this stance because of the unfortunate and violent attacks that occurred at the by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency. The violence and insecurity that day ridicule the democratic credentials of this Nation and I am still shocked at the presence of masked heavily-built men under the guise of National Security at some polling stations. The participation of these men at the by-election was unnecessary and no amount of security explanation can justify such a cruel and monstrous display of security.
Are we ridiculing the rule of law in this Country? How could Members of Parliament—also leaders of this Country—be assaulted for no crime committed and guns shot in private house on an election day to disrupt voting at the La Bawaleshie Presbyterian Polling Station near the house where the guns were fired? When good people keep quiet, evil people take over.
Enough is enough! We are not in a jungle state. I join many Ghanaians in totally condemning this barbaric act of violence which has dented our democratic credentials as a nation.
Experience has demonstrated that investigations into such wicked and dastardly acts never see the light of day due to political interference and many people, including myself, have little faith in the current criminal investigation system to do any good job. Security in this country has been too politicised. Those in security must not be controlled by political parties.
I call on the President of the nation to act swiftly to end all acts of vigilantism in this country. I want to believe that the President’s support for a speedy investigation into this matter will lead to a conclusive investigation so that the perpetrators of this crime will be punished.
There is the urgent need to assess the current security structure and leadership in the security sector since events over the last year and the current event reflect a lack of tact and professionalism shown by most security chiefs and security-related ministers.
We must protect the stability of this country with patriotism and employ modern approaches to security and, I daresay, that if the current evil trend of party vigilantism is not axed, the nation will greatly suffer from the activities of these bullish deviants, employed by some political parties.
All Ghanaians must not be complacent, especially those who have been given the mandate to govern; and we must not take any peaceful atmosphere in the country for granted. This country is ours! Such a lawless act must never happen again to destroy our country. God bless Ghana.
. . . . . .
REV. PROF. EMMANUEL MARTEY
(Former Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Ghana)
Dated: 4th February 2019.