Former Interior Minister under erstwhile John Mahama’s administration of the NDC, Mark Woyongo says,his comments on clashes that erupted in the 2015 Talensi by-elections were taken of context and distorted.
He reportedly said “Violence begets violence. Azoka boys will not act violently if they are not provoked. The other side also brought in some people…the Invincible Forces, the Bolga Boys, so violence begets violence. What I mean is that if you are a peace lover and someone comes to attack you, definitely you have to protect yourself.”
His comments followed a violent clash between party hoodlums of the NDC and NPP in the Talensi Constituency of Upper East Region.
The by-elections saw instances where the Police were left helpless, allowing the NDC and NPP inspired groups Azorka Boys and Invincible Forces to go at each other. In most cases locals say, the Police watched on while machetes and other sharp objects were thrown about.
But speaking on the issue five years down the line in an exclusive interviews on Daybreak East, the former Minister said he meant no harm with his insinuations about the violence.
“What happened was , we came for that by-election and that same morning , I went to Tongo and while I was there,Azorka and his boys came complaining that the NPP the guys were harassing their boys and they said they were going to retaliate and I said no don’t do because this is a friendly fire so don’t retaliate. Then along the line , the NPP too also came and complained that the NDC chaps were harassing them and I said NDC people complained and you people are also complaining and you people should know that violence begets violence ,once you start violence the results will be violence . And it is biblical that violence begets violence so don’t start the violence if you start the reaction will be violence.“That is the way I put it , I didn’t mean any harm at all but they took it out context . The(NPP) made a meal out of it ,I tried to explain this thing out but they wouldn’t because they wanted to make Capital out of it. I was only appealing that they should not start any violence because once you start the violence ,you cannot see the end of it . So I was just cautioning that none of them should start the violence so that was essential what I meant” He explained.
He however noted that he has not regretted makin the comments because he meant no evil for the country.
“I don’t regret it” he noted.