Gov’t promised compensation has not come – Ayawaso gun violence victims cry for help
Victims of the shooting incident during the 2019 Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election say government has still not acted on the recommendation to pay them compensation for the harm caused them.
Security agents and members of a militia group of the Nana Akufo-Addo government deployed to the constituency on the day of the by-election went on a rampage even before the election started, beating and shooting indiscriminately at polling stations and the residence of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate.
Following the mayhem, violence and injury, the Emile Short Committee among others recommended that victims of the January 31, 2019 violence should be paid compensation for the harm they suffered at the hands of government security forces.
At a meeting with former President John Dramani Mahama, the victims of the shooting incident said none of them has received any payment from government. The spokesperson for the victims, Abdul-Razak Garba, stressed that the victims and their families are struggling as a result of the painful experience.
He recounted how some of the assaulted victims went through life-altering experiences with some scheduled for more surgeries, some incapacitated for life, another suffering stroke and one person dead as a result of internal bleeding caused by gun-shot wounds.
The victims and their families were in the office of the former president and 2020 NDC Presidential Candidate to thank him for his support to them. Mr. Garba extended the group’s appreciation to John Mahama for his compassion and for paying for the cost of all their treatment including major surgeries.
President Mahama in his remarks extended his sympathies to the victims and their families. He also pledged to continue to support the members in any way that he can but stressed that it is the duty of the state to compensate the victims as recommended.
Mr. Mahama expressed shock at the level of impunity that he said continues to define the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia government, adding that impunity when unchecked leads to unrestrained violence and that is why the killings of innocent Ghanaians at Ejura and Techiman happened.
He encouraged the victims to hold their heads high and cautioned them to look out for persons who caused the harm turning round to mock them that their party is not supporting them enough.
He promised that, no matter how long it would take, the NDC would pursue every possible means to ensure that those who committed the crimes are punished and all compensations due the victims fully paid. According to him, “Ghana must not forget about what happened.”