The 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has described as “an abomination” the invasion of the Chamber of Parliament by gun-wielding military officers during the election of a Speaker for the House.
At a meeting with NDC MPs in Accra, the former described the spectacle as a symptom of the poor leadership of President Akufo-Addo.
“I just want to point out to you that everything that is wrong with our democracy under this President played out in Parliament that night; snatching of ballot papers, attempting to disenfranchise the voters by getting Assin North out of the Chamber and all the other things that took place, attempting to compromise the secrecy of the ballot. Everything that played out that night, you know the entry of the Military into the Chamber, I mean that is an abomination,” President Mahama noted.
“It makes us look like a Banana Republic. Because you were there and you were emotionally charged, I’m sure that the infamy of that event did not strike you but when you see it on TV again, you’ll see how low our democracy has sunk under this President,” he said.
The infamous invasion of the Chamber of Parliament happened during the vote to elect a new Speaker for the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic. Amidst acrimony, the heavily armed soldiers were suddenly seen charging into the Chamber.
Some MPs, including the NPP’s Alfred Obeng, have said that they fled when they saw the soldiers. However, the NDC MPs confronted the soldiers and forced them to retreat.
It has since emerged that they had been ordered to invade the Chamber by outgoing Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul who reportedly ordered the soldiers to “clear everybody who will stand in your way.”
There have been calls for an investigation into what has been roundly condemned as a coup d’etat attempt.
Meanwhile, former President Mahama has asked the NDC MPs to be united in Parliament, commending them for winning the race to elect the Speaker of Parliament.
“United we stand, divided we fall. There is no force that can defeat a people who are together and united and acting with a single purpose and that is what we saw on the floor that night. it was not a fight for yourselves, it was not a fight for the NDC, it was a fight to protect the democracy of the people of Ghana,” the former president advised.
President Mahama’s Running Mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang also urged the MPs to be focused in Parliament and justify the trust of voters in them. “let me specifically thank our voters, those who have put their trust in us and those who know that we will deliver, my message is very simple this afternoon; I know we will not betray their trust so I don’t need to repeat that but just to let them know that we will deliver, regardless where we are; regardless of what is ahead of us.”