Sack Hawa Koomson – Aning urges Akufo-Addo
Security analyst Professor Kwesi Aning has called for the head of Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, for shooting at a registration centre.
The cabinet minister admitted firing gunshots at the Steps to Christ registration centre in Kasoa at the Central Region on Monday.
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 is counterproductive to the fight against political militia which has been outlawed in the country.
“One would have thought a substantive Minister in a government that seeks to bring the issue of vigilantism to book; having spent substantial government and donor funds to develop a code of conduct, roadmap and for a Minister to behave like any other vigilante, I think raises very disturbing concerns,” Professor Aning noted.
The Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre said it was “unacceptable and premeditated”.
He said the minister put the lives of the crowd at the registration center at risk and her posture did not befit a ministerial role.
He was worried that acts of violence are “gaining currency” in Ghana’s society.
He has also called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other entities to condemn the actions of the minister.
Meanwhile, the EC has described the minister’s action as “a breach of the Vigilante and Related Offenses Act, 2019 Act 999. The Act seeks to disband violent activities of Political Parties and makes political vigilantism an offence punishable by a prison term.”
The EC said in a release that it had “noted with concern some acts of violence at some registration centres across the country in the form of physical and verbal attacks on its officials.”
The election management body subsequently called on security agencies to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.
A scuffle between the Minister for Special Development Initiatives, and her opponent, Philis Naa Koryoo, resulted in gunshots and the burning of motorbikes.
EC officials conducting the registration exercise had to flee, bringing a temporary halt to the registration exercise in the area on Monday, July 20.
The minister of state at the presidency, Hawa Koomson, said she was accompanied to the center by her men, who were unarmed after learning of people being bused to the registration centre by the NDC parliamentary candidate.
She narrated that she witnessed intimidating scenes at the polling station, with some motorbikes making furious turns around the center. She believes it was men recruited by Ms Koryoo to cause fear.
“It was my gun. I fired my own warning shot,” She told Adom News. “I realized that my peoples’ lives were in danger. I wanted to scare them”.
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.
Some motorbikes at the venue were seized and burnt. Four people have so far been arrested.
Meanwhile, the NDC Parliamentary candidate, Ms Koryoo, has criticised the actions of the MP.
“The situation here is like a war zone. What happened was that Hawa Koomson, the Minister for Special Development came here and instructed her boys to shoot and kill people at the centre……because the bullets can be found in people homes and shops, so it was a targeted shooting” she, alleged. “This is not an attack on the NDC, but an attack on Ghanaians and the good people of Kasoa are discerning and will reward Honourable Hawa Koomson come December 7″.
“This is an attack on the good people of Ghana, and we are tired of these hooligans as the police look unconcerned…we will rise up and defend ourselves” she warned.