The two major political parties in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have both condemned the recent violence emanating from the victory of the former in the just ended elections.
Though the election itself was peaceful, reported violence are being recorded, as some supporters on both sides of the political divide have suffered various degrees of injuries, as a result of excessive jubilation or teasing by the winning team.
Reports from various parts of the country speak of violence after the declaration of the Presidential results.
The Electoral Commission on Friday, 9th December, 2016 declared NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the victor of the Presidential elections.
The declaration, made by the Chairperson of the commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei triggered jubilation and sadness among supporters of both NPP and the NDC, which degenerated into chaos.
At Ekumfi and Upper Denkyira, clashes between supporters of the NPP and the NDC have resulted in the death of one person and several others injured.
The NDC condemned the attacks on its supporters, following the declaration of the results of the Presidential elections, which did not go their way. The party expressed displeasure about the alleged unprovoked attacks on members of the Party.
“We have received several reports of unprovoked physical attacks on supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) across the country,” a statement issued by the NDC National Organiser in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said.
“We wish to request the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo to call on their supporters to desist from the attacks and contribute to building a more stable democracy.
“While urging the Security Agencies to move in and protect life and property, we believe that our political parties must be interested in promoting political tolerance among our members,” the statement said.
A statement issued and signed by the acting General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu also condemned the post-elections attacks and urged its supporters to desist from the acts.
The statement urged the police to enforce the laws governing the nation and bring any person perpetrating such acts to book.
“The attention of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been drawn to reports of alleged acts of violence and vandalism being perpetrated allegedly against some political opponents of the NPP in the aftermath of the announcements of the results of the 2016 election.
“We condemn in no uncertain terms these distasteful occurrences, if true, and wish to state that NPP will not condone or sanction such actions.
“We urge the Ghana Police Service to enforce the laws of the land, and bring to book any person, irrespective of their political affiliations, found to be perpetrating acts of violence against any person.”
The outgoing President, John Mahama added his voice, calling on the leaders of the NPP to call their members to order.
According to the President, the development was likely to affect the country’s security if not checked.
“Across the nation, we have witnessed incidents of innocent people being attacked, vandalization of state property and unruly behavior arising out of these celebrations.
“Supporters of opposing parties have been assaulted and threatened and some government properties have been attacked and destroyed. I must also add that some of the NPP supporters have also been victims of this excessive jubilation.
“I had to subsequently direct security agencies to deploy across the country and ensure safety and security of all our citizens.
“I stated in my congratulatory call to President elect, Nana Addo that we would have to collaborate in this transition period to ensure the security and safety of our people.
“I, therefore, urge the President elect to act firmer in calling their supporters to order and halt immediately the harassment and attacks on innocent citizens. I’m happy to note that a statement to that effect has been issued.”
Meanwhile, the Police Admiration has also released a statement condemning the violence. The statement, which was signed by the Director in charge of Public Affairs, Cephas Arthur reads;
It has come to the attention of the Police that some people are attacking supporters of NDC in various parts of the country.
Furthermore, there are reports of excessive jubilation by NPP supporters across the country.
“Consequently, the Police are calling on the general public, especially supporters of the NPP to desist from engaging in any acts that will violate the rights of other people and also breach the peace prevailing in the country after the polls.
“The Police are further, entreating party supporters in jubilant mood to go about their celebration in moderation.
“The Police Administration wishes to caution those who are engaging in acts of vandalism and rowdism to desist, as Police officers who have been deployed to maintain law and order will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who break the laws of the land.”
In a related development, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Shaributu, has urged President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo to call his supporters to order, citing that the act could ruin the peace the country was enjoying.
Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Imam when he paid a courtesy call on Nana Addo yesterday said: “Such things, if they are truly going on, then probably your (Nana Akufo-Addo) voice could also help to ameliorate the problem so we can have a very peaceful transition in the interest of our country.”
At a press briefing yesterday, Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante said: “The recent skirmishes between supporters of the NDC and the NPP cast a slur on Ghana’s hard earned democratic credentials and image.
“This act should awaken all Ghanaians to the reality that electoral violence is possible in our country. The current level and spate of violent clashes between the NDC and the NPP have the potential to foul the political atmosphere during and even after the elections,” he added.
“The NPC is deeply concerned about the continuing violent confrontations between supporters of the NDC and NPP.
“The Council calls on the supporters of the parties in question to exercise caution and circumspection, as they embark on their legitimate rights to promote the virtues of their parties. “It is pertinent to note that Ghana is bigger than any political party and that political hooliganism and violence have never been a legitimate mechanism for ascension to political power in any part of the world.
“The Council unreservedly condemns such acts of violence, provocation and impunity,” Chairman of the Peace Council stated.