Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

NPP supporters protest in Kumasi. NDC Chairman attacked

Supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi today (Wednesday) held a peaceful demonstration, calling on the Electoral Commission to suspend the Tain constituency elections, until it had examined the evidence from the NPP with regards to alleged irregularities in the Volta region in Sunday’s presidential runoff elections.
Wearing red bands and holding placards, the demonstrators besieged the premises of the Regional Administration in Kumasi and demanded to have audience with the Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu Ansah.
They insisted that the Electoral Commission should not go ahead to conduct the Tain elections without examining the grievances of the NPP with regards to alleged irregularities in the Volta region.
Tain, a constituency in the Brong Ahafo region with about 53,000 registered voters is now the battleground where the close presidential race between Professor J. E. Atta Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo will finally be decided on Friday since voting in the runoff in that constituency could not be held as a result of a pending protest.
Announcing the new development in the presidential race in Accra on Tuesday, the EC Chairman, Dr Afari-Djan indicated that the commission was going to conduct investigations into allegations of electoral irregularities in Kumasi in particular and some parts of the Ashanti region as well as the Volta region.
Dr Afari-Djan said that both the NPP and NDC had made allegations against each other and that the NDC for its part had produced evidence on the alleged irregularities but the EC was yet to receive any evidence from the NPP.
The EC Chairman said because of the closeness of the elections, it was necessary to conduct the election in Tain, since results from there could make a difference and gave Friday January 2 as when that election would be held.
However, the NPP demonstrators in Kumasi claimed that once the Electoral Commission listened to the complaints of the NDC with regards to the allegations of irregularities in the Ashanti region, it should give the NPP the opportunity to provide its evidence before the Tain elections was allowed to come off.
The demonstrators held placards some of which read, “Kufuor you are too calm, wake up”, “Volta: Ketu, Hohoe, Avenor, the results are not accepted by NPP”, “Why do you listen to NDC without listening to us”.
Personnel from the Police Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) were called in to control the demonstrators at the premises of the Regional Administration.
A spokesman, Mr P. M. P. Drake Opoku explained that they did not understand why Dr Afari-Djan even went ahead to add disputed results from the Volta region and announced them to the nation before taking evidence from the NPP.
The leadership of the demonstrators later met with the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu Ansah who assured them that their concerns would be carried to the leaders of the NPP in Accra.
IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, the police and military are providing twenty-four hour security for the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Daniel Ohene-Agyekum, after hordes of supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi allegedly attacked his Ridge residence n Kumasi this afternoon.
Two people at the residence were injured and were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for medical attention.
As at 4pm today security personnel had barricaded the roads leading to the residence of the NDC regional chairman to prevent further attacks.
The reasons for the attack were not immediately known but it was believed to be linked to the declaration of the presidential run-off by the Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan on Tuesday.
The Daily Graphic reporters could cot get access to the residence of the regional chairman and all attempts to speak to him on phone proved futile.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Kwasi Mensah Duku, told the Daily Graphic that the regional police headquarters got information in the afternoon of today that some NPP supporters had attacked the residence of Mr Ohene-Agyekum.
He said earlier on, the regional police commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, had been informed about a demonstration by NPP supporters at the regional coordinating council (RCC) offices in Kumasi over the decision by the EC to declare the results of the elections when the NPP had raised doubts over the alleged irregularities in the run-off in the Volta Region.
ACP Duku said the regional commander had to rush to the RCC offices to inform the demonstrators that it was illegal to organise the demonstration without informing the police.
It was after dispersing the demonstrators that they marched to Mr Ohene-Agyekum’s residence.
According to deputy regional commander, when the police got information about the attack, they quickly organised and together with the military rushed in to save the situation.
He stated that leaders of the demonstrators were invited to the police headquarters for questioning.
ACP Duku did not give their names but said the suspects were cautioned and later released on bail.
He gave the assurance that the police would not allow anyone to take the law into their hands to misbehave in the aftermath of the elections.
Mr Duku said the security agencies were up to the task and would ensure that law and order prevailed.
He touched on another incident at Asawase on Tuesday night when enthusiastic supporters of the NDC barricaded the road after the electoral commissioner had announced the results, which gave Prof Mills a lead.
He urged the political parties to exercise maximum restraint in their reactions to issues about the elections.

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