Hon Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Minister-designate for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has stated that she had no intention of winning the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election through violence

Responding to questions at the Appointments Committee during her vetting on Tuesday, Lydia Alhassan clarified that she was not present at the location when the incident occurred.

“The incident that happened on 31st January 2019, is unfortunate. As a candidate [then], whose focus was to win the election, and support the voiceless and the under-privileged, and support my constituency, my intention of doing that was not to win through violence.”

Sharing the impact of the incident on her as a woman and a mother, the Member of Parliament underscored the importance of eliminating violence during elections to foster Ghana’s democracy.

“You all remember how I was received the first day I stepped foot into parliament. A woman who was in pain, grieving. I’m glad there is an opportunity to bring closure to this matter and I would like to clear it off my chest.”

“I was so touched by it, and I pray what happened on that day should never happen to any person trying to represent his/her people. It should never happen again in the history of our quest to lead this country in our democracy. Issues of violence should never happen in our elections ever again,” Lydia Alhassan advised.

The NDC withdrew from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election following a shooting incident at the polls.

Some masked men were caught on camera beating up civilians who did not resist arrest. The men, fully armed, were also seen in the company of some police officers.

The government subsequently set up a committee to probe the incident.

The Emile Short Commission of Inquiry was, among other things, mandated “to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.”

The Commission took testimonies of principal witnesses in the matter including the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George; the Commander of the National Security SWAT team, DSP Samuel Azugu; and the then NDC Parliamentary candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong.

The Commission interviewed over 20 other witnesses and persons of interest over three weeks.

The commission after its investigation presented its report to the President.

The Emile Short Commission, among other things, recommended that victims of violence should be paid compensation for the harm they suffered.

A number of the recommendations were rejected by the government in its White Paper.

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