‘Let’s exorcize ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon violence’ – Mahama signs peace pact
The 2020 NDC presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, has signed a peace pact ahead of the December 7 general elections, urging against a repeat of political violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections in January 2019.
“Let us on Monday exorcize the ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon,” he said at the Movenpick Ambassador hotel in Accra where political movers and shakers across the different spectrum of society gathered.
To affirm their commitment to a peaceful election before, during, and after the 2020 general election, President Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama have signed a peace pact.
“Elections are about counting heads not cutting heads” the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, John Mahama said.
According to him, the responsibility of having a peaceful election does not only lie with political parties and the Electoral Commission but the security agencies voters, media, and all stakeholders.
He, therefore, urged the various security agencies to execute their duties professionally before, during, and after the elections.
“Behave professionally and all those deployed for elections should be in their uniform, be wear their name tags”
“Our country stands at a critical time in its history. Never have the lives of so many depended on the power of a thumb. Now more than ever, we need institutions and democracy to work impartially to deliver an outcome that is fair, transparent, and in the national interest” he added.
Recounting the 31st January 2018 incident at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections, where the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George was assaulted by National security operatives, the former president said “the refusal to sanction persons involved in assaulting an honorable member of parliament and injuring scores of people is really one of the darkest days in our democratic history”
“In the face of similar downs in the past Ghanaians have risen to the occasion, and delivered a peaceful successful election, it is my prayer that despite our deepest fears, we shall be proved wrong and Ghana will once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.
Read full speech
Good morning my brothers and sisters.
Peace be upon you – As-salamu alaykum.
As we end our campaigns tomorrow and prepare to vote on Monday, I pledge to ensure peace and preserve the stability of our dear nation.
Elections are about counting heads not cutting heads. And so we will work towards peace.
I urge the security agencies, voters and all stakeholders to ensure law and order. We expect to see all security personnel deployed for the elections to be in uniform and with visible name tags.
Let us strive to prevent the violence of the past, particularly as witnessed in early 2019 during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-elections, which till date has gone unpunished.
Ladies and gentlemen, our country stands at a critical juncture of history. Never have the lives of so many depended on the power of a thumb.
Now more than ever, we need the institutions of our democracy to work impartially to deliver an outcome that is fair, transparent and in the National Interest.
The Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, the Security Services and the media hold the future of our nation in their hands.
The United States of America has set an example for us, where institutions of democracy have upheld the constitution despite severe verbal and legal assaults by a losing incumbent.
Will our institutions perform the same in the face of a similar situation? Recent events under the current President have given many anxious moments of doubt about this administration’s ability to deliver a peaceful, violence-free election.
The events of Ayawaso West Wuogon are fresh in our minds.
The administration’s refusal to sanction persons involved in assaulting an honourable Member of Parliament and injuring scores of people remain one of the darkest days in our democratic history.
Reckless remarks by leading members of the ruling party that the unfortunate events of Ayawaso West Wuogun were just a dress rehearsal for the actual election, do not inspire confidence for the delivery of a peaceful election.
A subsequent intervention by the Peace Council led to the two leading parties signing an agreement of 22 deliverables. Of these 22 deliverables, 18 were dependent on government.
As far as I am aware, the government has failed to sign the agreement.
The loss of three lives in the course of a regular voter registration exercise also gives cause for worry.
The military siege of the Volta Region and other locations during the registration exercise created an intimidatory atmosphere akin to a nation at war.
But we are optimistic. In the face of similar doubts in the past, Ghanaians have risen to the occasion and delivered peaceful elections.
It is my prayer that despite our deepest fears we shall be proved wrong and Ghana will once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.
We have done it before, and we can do it again!
Let us on Monday exorcize the ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon.
I am John Dramani Mahama and I stand for peace.
Let there be peace in Ghana before, during and after the elections.
God bless us all.