Police said they were investigating the shooting death of a Ghanaian lawmaker on Friday after he attended a political event in his constituency, in an apparent robbery case.
Ekow Quansah Hayford, a member of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), was campaigning ahead of the December elections in his constituency, some 108 kilometres (67 miles) from the capital Accra.
“His driver attempted to drive through a road-block but he was shot,” Wofa Yaw, an NPP official who was accompanying the slain MP, told AFP.
“In the course of the melee, the MP introduced himself as the lawmaker for the area and immediately they shot him and he died on the spot,” Yaw said, adding that the driver later died in hospital.
Another witness gave a similar account.
“They asked us to lie down while others ran into the bush. It was a terrifying scene. All we heard were gunshots,” the witness said, asking to remain anonymous.
James Oppong-Boanuh, inspector general of police, said in a statement that investigators had been dispatched to support local authorities in solving the alleged robbery incident and murder.
Ghana’s president posted a statement on Facebook saying that he was shocked and saddened by the news, offering condolences to the MP’s family.
“By all accounts, he was very much appreciated and loved by his constituents, and I expect the police to bring the perpetrators of this gruesome, cruel act to book as soon as possible,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The party will have to nominate a new candidate for the Mfantseman constituency which Hayford represented.
“It’s a sad morning and we’re all devastated. Ghana has lost one of its illustrious sons,” Bright Wireko-Brobby, party member and deputy minister for employment and labour relations, told AFP.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a statement, said it was suspending its campaign in the constituency in solidarity with the ruling party.
Ghana — viewed as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies — is gearing up for presidential elections on December 7.