Kasoa shooting: Fear grips residents despite heavy security presence after gunfire incident
In spite of heavy security presence at the Step to Christ voter registration centre where the gunshot incident involving the Minister for Special Initiatives, Hawa Koomson, occured, residents are scared to go out to register.
A day after the incident, dozens of police officers arrived at the scene to conduct forensic investigations, but residents afraid of reprisal attacks are staying away from the centre.
Accra-based Starr FM reports that the police visited the shop where the bullets hit as part of their investigations.
According to the radio station, the registration centre is close to empty. It also reported that the few residents who had turned up at the registration centre panic at the sound of an approaching motorbike.
The police, however, assured the residents of their safety. It called on the residents to get o out of their homes to register for the new Voter ID card which will be used on the December 7 polls.
Hawa Koomson admits firing gunshot
The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, admitted firing gunshots at the voter registration centre in the Central Region.
“It was my gun. I fired my own warning shot,” the cabinet minister told Adom News in an interview monitored by theghanareport.com.
The minister, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East, claimed her National Democratic Congress (NDC) opponent, Philis Naa Koryoo, had bused some people into the constituency to register at the Steps to Christ registration centre in Kasoa.
The minister of state at the presidency, Hawa Koomson, said she was accompanied to the centre by her men, who were unarmed. Her police escort was not with her at the time of the incident, around 9 am Monday.
She said she witnessed intimidating scenes at the polling station, with some motorbikes making furious turns around the centre. She believed it was men recruited by her opponents to cause fear.
“I realised that my peoples’ lives were in danger. I wanted to scare them,” the 54-year-old former teacher explained why she fired her gun, which she said was licensed.
According to eyewitnesses account, at least 15 men stormed the venue and tried to sack some applicants, suspected to have come from outside the region.
Hawa Koomson has said she will ‘not allow non-residents to come into the area to choose the next MP’.
Officials from the Electoral Commission (EC) had to flee during a confusion at the centre which led to violence.
This resulted in a brawl between the two politicians as a buffer of police officers, prevented the verbal exchanges from getting physical.
Some motorbikes at the venue were seized and burnt. Four people have so far been arrested.
Calls for Hawa Koomson to be dismissed
There have been calls for the dismissal of the Minister of State.
Regardless of her reasons that she fired the warning shots because “I realized that my peoples’ lives were in danger”, the security expert wants the MP for Awutu Senya East removed from President Akufo-Addo’s government for being “reckless”.
“It is my hope that his Excellency the President will ask Ms. Hawa Koomson to step aside by tomorrow afternoon or probably dismiss her,” Professor Anning said in an interview on Joy News, which was monitored by theghanareport.com. “Hawa Koomson has done her party, constituents, and certainly the good people of Ghana a great disservice.”
Prof. Aning believes the actions of the cabinet minister are counterproductive to the fight against political militia which has been outlawed in the country.