There is strong advocacy for former President John Mahama to submit any evidence he has on government’s complicity in the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election to the Emile Short Commission.
Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa said helping the ongoing hearing by the Emile Short Commission with factual evidence is key to the outcome of their work.
“This [evidence] is incredibly important for the Commission’s work. let it be submitted and be proven that indeed these cars belong to the New Patriotic Party candidate,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile programme.
Mr Braimah believes the botched security operation at the house of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate on election day was a purely political one.
His comments follow a meeting Mr Mahama meeting had with diplomats during the week. In that meeting, the former president showed videos and photos accusing government of sponsoring thugs to visit mayhem on the opposition.
Mr Mahama who wants the incident to capture international attention insisted that those involved were connected to the eventual winner Lydia Seyram Alhassan.
“If they were neutral participants what would they be doing escorting one parliamentary candidate and then attacking the house of another and discharging weapons and injuring people?” he questioned.
According to him, it is a clear manifestation that “this was a partisan deployment and as they themselves said, ‘this is a dress rehearsal for the 2020 election.”
This move by Mr Mahama was criticised by the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo who described the action as “unpatriotic and shameful.”
He argued that the former president should show his so-called evidence to Ghanaian professionals, businessmen or those in academia, instead of washing the country’s dirty linens before diplomats.
But Vice President of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil disagrees with the Senior Minister saying he should be minded as someone in government and being motivated to get to the bottom of the issue.
He wants Mr Mahama to submit his video evidence to the Emile Short Commission to verify his claims.
“That evidence that former president Mahama has is material and I would expect him whatever he wants to do with it to properly submit it for investigations,” he said.
According to him, this is necessary to the growth of the country’s democracy stating it is wrong for politicians to do certain things because they think they are in power and can do as they wish.
He, however, noted that it will be problematic if the former president has not presented his evidence to the relevant authorities, urging the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to lodge a formal complaint with the police if it has not.
Meanwhile, Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide has contradicted former president Mahama’s claim.
According to him, Madam Alhassan was never given any such protection by any person or group.
“Fortunately, I was with the candidate then, all through the election day, and she actually was in my vehicle. We visited at least 21 polling stations and so ordinary Ghanaians know that she visited the stations unaccompanied,” he told Joy News.
Mr Hadzide said she was interviewed at some of the centres she visited challenging journalist on the grounds to provide such evidence.
“They should come out and contradict Mr Mahama by telling the truth and expose him for peddling a falsehood,” he said.