ASHFORD revisits NDC'S Heroes Fund …Calls for its withdrawal before elections
5/3/2012 12:31:02 PM -
By: Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
The Ashanti Youth For Development (ASHFORD), a pressure group in Kumasi, has said the recent reported violence at registration centres at Tafo Pankrono in the Ashanti Region, Sankore in the Brong Ahafo, and Odododiodoo in the Greater Accra Tegion, has a correlation with the Heroes Fund set up by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The group says the alleged involvement of NDC activists in the disturbances was not mere coincidence.
ASHFORD says it is worried about the development, because the NDC was known to have a penchant for visiting violence on its political opponents, and feared that the Heroes Fund would incite the party's following to engage in more violence, drawing the conclusion from incidences at Chireponi, Akwatia and Agbogbloshie among others.
In June 2011 ASHFORD condemned the establishment of the Heroes Fund by the NDC, and called on their counterparts in the NDC who the fund is targeting to frown upon its establishment.
It suggested that the NDC youth should challenge the NDC to commit the said fund, which was described as vicious, into their training to acquire employable skills and other technological innovations to improve upon their lot.
In the face of the recent development, ASHFORD has issued a statement jointly signed by Messrs Adam Seidu, Saeed Mumuni, and Seth Kwadwo Boateng, Chairman, Secretary and Spokesperson respectively, in Kumasi on Wednesday, linking the Heroes Fund to the recent mayhem at registration centres.
ASHFORD says this year's registration exercise had recorded unprecedented violence in the history of elections in the country.
It noted that there had been several voter registration exercises since the Fourth Republic was ushered in, but with some negligible drawbacks against the recent happenings.
The group said it had evidence of NDC activists who were drugged and rode motorbikes to cause mayhem in Ashanti for a fee of GH¢300.
ASHFORD has consequently, condemned the NDC Regional Youth Organiser, Mr. Kwaku Boehner, for praising the NDC activists for the visiting mayhem on unsuspecting persons at Kronum in Kumasi.
The group, which felt vindicated for the concerns it raised about the formation of the Heroes Fund, noted that 'if a mere voter registration has generated this fierce competition among these activities to outsmart one another, with the aim of benefiting from the Heroes Fund, one can imagine the extent, they would go during the elections, where the stakes would be much higher.'
ASHFORD has therefore, reminded President Mills of his responsibility to maintain peace before, during, and after the 2012 elections, a responsibility he (President Mills) does not have to be policeman or a soldier to perform.
The group indicated as a reminder that former President Kufuor was neither a policeman nor a soldier before he handed over a cohesive Ghana and power to him (Mills).
President Mills was also urged to renounce, as a matter of urgency, the Heroes Fund to protect his reputation, because it (Fund) had the tendency to mar the December elections.
ASHFORD has also reminded the National Peace Council of its duty with the occurrence of violence in the country, and called for a proactive decision and actions against peace-threatening issues.
The group pointed to the silence of the Peace Council to the concerns it raised against the Heroes Fund, and said the Council should make its stance on the issue known to peace-loving Ghanaians.
Meanwhile, ASHFORD has threatened to hit the streets to register its abhorrence, if the Heroes Fund is not withdrawn before the impending elections.