Ayawaso West by-election victim goes through 9th surgery, yet to be compensated

The affected most victim of the Ayawaso West Wuogon (AWW) by-election gun shooting Issahu Yaro, is still confined to his wheelchair three years after their attack by operatives of the National Security.

Yaro is not only incapacitated but he, like the other victims, are yet to be compensated by the state through the Ministries of National Security, Finance and Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.

The now paralyzed former footballer and father of three, has had his damaged leg operated upon nine times already.

He is slated for another surgery in Koforidua in the coming months.

He has since the attack in January 31, 2019 been living on the benevolence of family members, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and it 2020 flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.

In an interview with The Anchor, Yaro narrated his daily struggles throughout these challenging three years saying “I have a good family; my brothers and sisters, are the ones supporting me“.

His affected leg he explained, has no bone anymore as they have been removed as a result of the surgery.

“I still can’t walk, I am still in pain, and there is no bone in my leg.  I did the last but one surgery about five months ago at the Koforidua Government Hospital and I am due for the 10th surgery this year after a review next month.

We have spent more than GHc80, 000, slept at the 37 Military Hospital for close to a year”, he said.

Yaro said his information is that, the issue concerning the payment of their packages has been left in the hands of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.

He said they are still impatiently waiting for government to do the needful because they are suffering.

The father and husband pleaded with government to hasten the process so that they can receive their packages.

At their last meeting with the media, the Ministry of National Security Chief Director Col. Serebour gave the names of the beneficiaries as Issaku Yaro, Ms Markia Annan, Theophilus Sidoti, Seidu Zane, Issah Moore, and Mohammed Ahassan.

Recall that the sector Minister Albert Kan Dapaah, under whose watch the incident occurred promised to facilitate the full payment of the compensation packages by June last year.

He had promised the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Asawase constituency Muhammed Muntaka and the Appointment Committee during his vetting in February 2021

However, even though some efforts were made to start and complete the processes, it stalled following complaints by lawyers for the victims led by private legal practitioners Abraham Amaliba and Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu.

The two lawyers from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stalk, had urged the Ministry, to put on hold the process for further negotiations with their clients.

Media reports had said that, the Ministry had invited some of the victims in October 2021, to ostensibly handover compensation packages to them.

But the lawyers who accompanied the affected individuals, to the meeting raised objection claiming they had reservation about the process.

They explained that they thought were invited to the Ministry for “What they thought was the beginning of negotiations on the compensations due them only to be told after arriving at the Ministry that they were going to receive compensation”.

Mr Amaliba claimed the victims and their lawyers had not been engaged in anyway.

He believed their involvement in the process will bring transparency adding the victims had sustained different levels of injuries and so cannot be treated equally.

“As we speak, two of them are ‘vegetables’ and cannot do anything for themselves at all. They have wives and children and families to take care of but they have been unable to work and earn a living since the incident”, he explained.

The lawyers after their submission requested for more days to engage officials of the Ministry.

But speaking to Yaro days ago, he told this paper his information is that the National Security Ministry the issue in the hands of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice. He could however not tell when the process will resume as no information has been communicated to him.