The immediate-past District Chief Executive (DCE) of Talensi, Edward Awunnore, has recounted an incident of military brutality he says the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) ordered against some “innocent” small-scale miners in the Upper East Region.
The soldiers beat both men and women ruthlessly during the said raid and confiscated some mining machines which ended up being sold out by the NPP to party associates, according to the former Chairman of the District Security Council (DISEC) in that local government area of Talensi.
Awunnore gave these details at Sheaga, a community on the eastern side of the district, whilst delivering a speech to cap a health walk organised at the weekend by the Young Professionals Forum, an outgrowth of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) established for intelligence gathering purposes among other legally recognised functions for the party. The event was themed: “Walking for Peace and the Second Coming of John Mahama”.
“When the NDC was in power, our brothers and sisters who were mining at the mining site had their peace. It was because we showed leadership. We demonstrated a high level of commitment and care, ensuring that our brothers and sisters go about their legitimate, legal mining activities without any form of intimidation and harassment. We have a change of government. What the NPP government has done to our brothers and sisters at the mining site is to reward them with brutality— military brutality— and, in fact, intimidation, beatings, harassment and insults.
“Who amongst us here will not attest to the fact that when the NPP took over the reins of this nation, they brought the military to the eastern part of our district and they brutalised our people, beating men and women and seized people’s legitimate concessions? The equipment which people bought with toil for the purposes of legitimate mining in the district, the NPP government seized it and sold it to their party cronies. NDC says when we come back, we will continue that good work and ensure that the Tindamas (traditional landowners), the chiefs and all stakeholders within the mining industry are united and work together,” Awunnore said.
The alleged military brutality was not the only subject of attention. The “neglect” by the Akufo-Addo Government of a community day school project initiated in the district by the erstwhile Mahama Administration also came under the spotlight at the event.
“Again, when John Dramani Mahama, in preparing towards free SHS, said that free SHS was good but we needed to lay the foundation and the foundation included putting up enough infrastructure to be able to handle the pressure that was anticipated of the free SHS, our opponents then said no; they wanted to rush. When John Mahama made that promise, he decided to build community day schools across the country and he gave the people of Talenteng our share. That is the school we started building at Yameriga up to that level. The NPP government has come; they have abandoned the school.
“When you are going to Tongo (from Sheaga) you will see the big school there (at Yameriga). The NPP people have abandoned that school. An NDC government will continue that school in no time. John Dramani Mahama, during his tenure, showed love for the disabled. He put up a 500-bed-capacity dormitory block for the Gbeogo School for the Deaf at Gbeogo in the Talensi District. This is what we call visionary leader,” he stated and went on to point at the construction of an “ultramodern district office complex” for the Ghana Education Service (GES) which hitherto was using an old classroom building at Wakii (a community in the central part of Talensi) as a district office block, a rural electrification project connecting communities to the national grid and the establishment of a community day senior high/technical school at Baare in the district among some development projects he credited to the Mahama Presidency.
A vote for the NDC is a vote against oppression— Young Professionals Forum
Executives and members of Young Professionals Forum
Top officials of the Young Professionals Forum turned out for the occasion. Also in attendance were the front-runners of the NDC Professionals Forum— the ‘birth parent’ of the Young Professionals Forum.
Speaking to the press at the event, the executive members of the Young Professionals Forum said the Akufo-Addo-led government had plunged Ghana into multiple crises and urged Ghanaians to join the NDC’s rescue mission by campaigning and voting to eject the NPP from power at the upcoming polls.
“A vote for the NDC is a vote against nepotistic government, a vote against a government of families and friends, a vote against people who think that the country belongs to them. This 2020 election is about Ghana; it’s about the people themselves. We will ensure that we bring jobs to the people and provide jobs not basically on education but through the National Apprenticeship Programme. The NPP promised dams and gave dugouts which cannot support farmers in the dry season. We will ensure that in areas where there is a need for these dams to be built, we do them at the standard at which they need to be— to be able to contain water for dry-season farming.
“This will boost the agricultural sector of the economy. There will be more food for the youth, there will be more jobs for the youth and there will be more jobs for farmers. In education, if your child has passed through the senior high school but is not able to pay the high fees of tertiary education, government will pay 50% of the fees,” said the National Secretary of the Young Professionals Forum, Comrade Augustine M. Guure, flanked by the Forum’s Deputy National Coordinator, Dr Charles Lwanga Bayel, and the Forum’s Upper East Regional Secretary, Comrade Jonas Tibil Zure.
The National Organiser of the NDC Professionals Forum, Dr. Vida Nyagre Yakong, noted that when voters stayed behind at polling stations after casting their ballots, altercations among political opponents waiting at voting venues were to be expected and such disagreements could mushroom into violence.
Dr. Yakong, who is also the Dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University for Development Studies (UDS) Tamale Campus, therefore, entreated the NDC supporters at the event to return home immediately after thrusting their ballot papers into the ballot box on the Election Day (December 7, 2020) whilst the agents assigned to represent the party remained at the polling stations to hold the fort for the NDC. She also assured the power-hopeful crowd that John Mahama would economically empower a great number of women and young people nationwide if voted again as President.