Ayawaso West Wuogon: Kan-Dapaah Misses Compensation Deadline

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It is emerging that the National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah and for that matter government, couldn’t meet the deadline given to pay compensation packages to victims of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election gun brutalities.

This is because the grace period handed him by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, has elapsed yet none of the victims has been compensated so far.

Recall that during his vetting by the Committee on Wednesday 10, February 2021, Mr. Kan-Dapaah assured he will do everything within his power to implement the White Paper recommendation on the Emile Short Commission which probed the brutalities.

The Presidential Commission was put in place in February 2019 after a by-election to elect replacement for deceased MP Kyerematen Agyarko in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, suddenly turned bloody.

This occurred after several masked men from the National Security drove in police armored vehicles to a polling station center and ended up shooting at some civilians.

The National Security Minister told the Committee that even though it is not the mandate of his Ministry to pay the said compensation packages, he will collaborate with the Ministries of Finance and also Justice and Attorney General, to implement that aspect of the Paper.

The issue of compensation of that by-election became topical when Mr Kan-Dapaah appeared before the Committee as National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Whip Muntaka Mohammed, enquired why the victims of that political violence are yet to get what is due them more than a year after the recommendation was made by government.

In his response, the then nominee said his ministry was not directly responsible for the payment as he shifted blame onto the two aforementioned ministries but was quick to add that if he is given the nod, he will ensure that by March, the victims are compensated.

The Asawase MP then proceeded saying he was giving him up to May 2021 so that they can have ample time to deal with all issues which was welcomed wholeheartedly.

But as it turned out, six months after his approval as the Minister, who was one of the ministers that were reappointed by President Akufo-Addo, the promised is yet to be fulfilled.

A quick check with one of the most affected victims Ishawu Yaro, the former footballer, who is now incapacitated said until about three weeks ago he had not heard from government.

He said in July, he received a call from the Ministry requesting his presence at their offices.

Yaro who said he could not attend the said meeting because of a fresh pains from his leg he delegated his wife and brother to represent him.

According to Yaro also known as Alhaji Baba, when they returned from the meeting, he said certain information, receipts of his hospital bills were demanded from the delegation.

He said, his family was told government was working on the packages and that they will get back to them when they are completed with all the necessary processes.

Since that time, the father and husband who now sits in a wheelchair said he is yet to hear from government.

“If I can recall was home about three weeks ago when I had a call from National Security they inquired if I was the victim of the brutalities and when I responded in the affirmative, they asked that I come to their office because the Committee wanted to see me. At the time, I had severe pains because I had gone to Koforidua for treatment of my leg.

So, I delegated my wife and my brother and when they got there they were asked how I was doing and they told them my situation was still bad that was why I could not come myself.

They asked about the expenses made so far, hospital bills, receipts and doctor’s reports. From there, they said we will hear from them but I think yesterday Friday was exactly three weeks, we have not heard from them.

For about two weeks now, I am unable to do anything. It is my wife that has been aiding me. It is not easy”, he told DAYBREAK.

Yaro, who on the day of the incident was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital spent about nine months there undergoing eight surgeries said he is still suffering the repercussion of the shooting incident.

Meanwhile, a publication in the Ghanaian Times of Saturday July 31 said the National Security Ministry is working in partnership with the Justice Ministry to compensate the victims in line with the White Paper.

“In partnership with the Ministry of Justice, this Ministry has commenced work on compensating victims of the Ayawaso West Wuogon incident, in line with the Government White Paper issued on the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry Report”, Mr Kan-Dapaah was quoted as saying..