The Institute for Peace and Progress(IPP) is the latest to condemn the electoral violence that rocked the Ayawo West Wuogon by-election.
The IPP says it has taken grave concern on the violent incidents that took place at La Bawalashie in Accra during Thursday’s by-election.
Men dressed in black polo shirts and khaki trousers stormed the La Bawaleshie Primary School polling station on Thursday morning where voting was ongoing to elect a new MP.
The men, believed to be working for the governing party, are alleged to have fired gunshot and even slapped Ningo-Prampram NDC Legislator, Samuel George, who in a video, appeared to be questioning them.
In a statement, signed by the National Coordinator,Hajj Abdul Samed,and copied to ghanaguardian.com, the IPP described the attack on the the NDC supporters as "cowardly actions" that must not be allowed in the country.
"The Institute for Peace and Progress (IPP) condemned the attacks and violence against some members of the opposition NDC, these cowardly actions are despicable and must not be allowed in this country," it read.
The shooting incident lasted 20 minutes until police intervened as the attacks continued.
While commending the police, the IPP has also called for full-scale investigation into the incident which force the NDC to pull out of the race.
"We want to commend the swift response of the security and law enforcement agencies who helped restored peace," it says.
"But the Institute for Peace and Progress IPP wants to call the attention of the Inspector General of Police through the commander in chief of the Ghana army forces to investigate and bring the perpetrators of the act to justice.
The incidence has received widespread condemnation from other civil society organisations
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in statement described the incident as a "brazen acts of violence which undermine Ghana's hard-earned democracy and peace".
The Christian Council of Ghana has also expressed concern over violent incident, saying it is "unacceptable".
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has also urged the EC to investigate what triggered the attacks and withdrawal
Below is the full statement by the IPP
The Institute for Peace and Progress (IPP) is adding his voice to condemn the latest political violence that occurred yesterday, January 31, 2019, at La-bawaleshie, during the by-election to replace the former Member of Parliament of the Ayawaso West Wuogon who sudden death occurred November 21, 2018.
We have noted with dismay that despite reports of political violence at the center yesterday, leaders of key political parties allegedly involved in these barbaric acts have either been silent or not acted swiftly to address the situation. As we move towards elections 2020, such procrastination to curb political violence can be a catalyst for anarchy in the country.
Hajj Abdul Samed, the founder of the Institute for Peace and Progress (IPP) is very concerned about an increase number of political vigilantism in Ghana, he urged citizens to reject political parties and their leadership who condone or promote violence by their party members.
Last Thursday (January 31) some supporters of the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), were savagely attacked at La-Bawaleshie and badly beaten and attacked, which some of the affected victims were rushed to the hospital for medical attention, including a seating member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency, Hon Samuel Nartey George. ‘‘Is this democracy?”
Ghanaian must not tolerate those cowardly attacks and the Institute for Peace and Progress (IPP) strongly condemn all who choose violence, we just want to tell you the politicians that, we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in Ghana hence all VIGILANTISM groups should be banned since our security agencies are up to the task of ensuring security and safety of all citizens and properties.
Our political differences need not be overcome, but hopefully we can unite in swiftly and loudly condemning those who carry out, incite, encourage, or justify acts of political violence.
The institute at this juncture call upon the Inspector General of Police Mr. David Asante-Apeatu through the President and Commander in Chief of the republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo to ensure an independent investigation is conducted and perpetrators are brought to justice.
Hajj Abdul Samed