Some churches in Kasoa, within the Awutu Senya East Constituency, have disagreed with a call by the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante, for the resignation of the MP for the area, Mavis Hawa Koomson, who is also the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, for firing warning shots at a polling station a week ago.
The lawmaker pulled the trigger at a registration centre, claiming her life was under threat from some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the area.
After admitting to firing the warning shots publicly, Rev Asante told Benjamin Akakpo in an interview on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that the minister must resign.
Speaking in his personal capacity rather than for the National Peace Council, which he chairs, Prof Asante described the incident as “very very very worrying”.
“I saw this very late last night before I slept and really, I was disturbed about the whole thing”, he told Benjamin Akakpo on Tuesday, 21 July 2020.
“Why? For the simple reason that we have an honourable minister, an honourable member of parliament also, and I believe that she’s also the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Awutu Senya East Constituency. We would expect that such honourable people would provide leadership, no matter the provocation”, he explained.
“And, for her to have said that she felt threatened, so, she pulled a gun and fired it and created chaos in that place; what if, in pulling the gun, others, whoever the detractors may be, even if they were around, … also pulled a gun? What would have happened?” he asked.
Prof Asante wondered if “pulling a gun” was the “only option” the minister and MP had under the circumstances.
“Even if her bodyguard was not around, couldn’t she have gone to the police station to inform the police about what was happening? As far as I’m concerned, it cannot be justified in any sense”, he said.
“She should do the honourable thing, and for me, resign”, Prof Asante demanded.
Apart from that, he said the “police must also investigate the matter and let the law take its course for that matter, especially, the context within which this was done – in a situation where tension is rising and we’re doing all we can, people from different angles are doing all they can to ensure that there would be peace and tranquility in what we are doing; we will not expect our leaders, honourable people to do things of this nature”.
“We expect our honourable people to do honourable things, not dishonourable things”, he added.
“If I’m an honourable person and I’ve done a thing of this nature, then I need to sit back and consider what I have to do. As for her being a minister, can she still maintain that dignity of an office? This is the thing”.
Beyond asking for her resignation and the police taking her on, Prof Asante said Parliament must also sanction the MP for her “dishonorable” action.
“Parliament must also have a say on such matters. Parliament cannot sit down and think that parliamentarians can do whatever they like and there will be no sanctions whatsoever. I would think that parliament, the executives, the speakers and all the leadership of parliament, will have something to say to this person because she brings the name of parliament into disrepute by her action. I mean, so, in any panicky situation, you pull a gun and shoot it? If an ordinary citizen does that, what is going to happen?”
However, the Kasoa Ofankor Local Council of Churches in the Awutu Senya municipality, at a press conference, said it wishes “to call on the National Peace Council of Ghana to refrain from calling for the resignation of the Mavis Hawa Koomson”.
“Our call is based on the law of natural principles solidly grounded in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The MP, we local members of the clergy, know her as not of a violent character. She has, for several years, remained a very calm and solemn political figure worthy of emulation in our society”, the Council’s spokesperson said.
The Council said: “The fact of the matter is that she was caught up in the midst of thugs who were wielding weapons and without the presence of her personal bodyguard”.