Embattled Member of Parliament (MP) for the Awutu Senya-East constituency and Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has rendered unqualified apology to Ghanaians over the infamous shooting incident that occurred in her constituency at Kasoa last year during the nation-wide voter registration exercise.
She was then the Minister for Special Development Initiatives who angrily fired warning shots at the ‘Steps to Christ’ polling station claiming it was in self-defense.
Hawa Koomson rendered the apology when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament as Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture on Thursday, February 19, 2021.
“I apologize to everyone for shooting. It was the circumstance [in which] I found myself that led me to fire the warning shots. I really regret that day which I wish never happens in the life of our political activities,” she said while answering a question posed by the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu.
According to her, though a police officer had been assigned to her to provide security, he was not present on the day of the incident.
She said her reaction would be different should the same unfortunate circumstance presents itself again today.
The Minister-designate, however, explained that “yes, there was a name of a polling station there, but it (shooting incident) did not happen at the polling station. It happened outside the polling center, about 150 meters away. But I still say I regret that”.
Madam Koomson, appealed to the vetting committee to pardon her and refrain from asking further questions on the incident as it was still under police investigation.
During the mass voter registration exercise in July 2020, Mavis Hawa Koomson stormed the centre after receiving information that people from outside the constituency were bussed to register there as voters.
She accused the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of transporting [bussing] people from outside the constituency, from Gomoa East and Nsawam to come and register at the Step to Christ polling station.
She claimed that particular polling station was her [NPP] stronghold and has never lost an election in that polling station [2012 and 2016].
Several CSOs and individuals, including Security analysts criticized her for the shooting incident which they described as not befitting of a Minister-of-State.
They called for her resignation or dismissal, but the MP for Awutu Senya East insisted her action was a means to defend herself against a danger she had sited.
According to her, her manager had taken the lead to the registration center where they had received information the bussing was happening.
She said when she later arrived at the center, there were many boys on motorbikes and she felt her people’s life and that of her’s were in danger, so she fired the warning shots in an attempt to scare them.
“I didn’t direct it at anybody,” she added and explained she did not have her police escort with her at the time.
The incident occurred at the center situated at the Step to Christ polling station.
Reports indicate there were other gunshots apart from the one from Hawa Koomson.