Bloody Clash At Koforidua ….As NPP Supporters Fight NDC Over Jubilation
From Isaac Akwetey-Okunor, Koforidua
Supporters of the two leading political giants in the country, the re-elected ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), engaged themselves in what could be described as free-for-all showdowns on Sunday night.
This was after the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, had declared John Dramani Mahama of the NDC winner of the 2012 presidential election just before 10:00 p.m. that night.
The NDC supporters, who had been anxiously awaiting the declaration of the result, poured onto the streets to celebrate their hard work before, during and after the elections in grand style.
The jubilant NDC faithful, painted in the colours of the party, with others sitting comfortably on the roofs of vehicles, started their jubilation from Oyoko, a suburb of Koforidua, marching in the regional capital with brass band music, and the hooting of vehicles among other things.
They were however, stopped by some youths, believed to be supporters of the NPP, at the Oyoko post office, leading to a free-for-all fight.
But for the timely intervention of the Regional Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Mr. Joshua Atta Mensah, the situation could have become bloodier.
That notwithstanding, some supporters of the two parties' sustained various minor injuries.
Speaking to The Chronicle, Mr. Atta Mensah expressed grave concern over what he described as an unfortunate situation, and called on supporters of both parties to be circumspect in their actions.
According to him, he had decided not to report the matter to the police, since they were one people and needed to live in harmony, adding that he would not begrudge the NPP supporters, since he could have done same when faced with such a painful defeat.
Meanwhile, supporters of the NDC in the region have been advised by the leadership of the party to be mindful and enjoy their celebration in a manner that would not bring chaos.
The regional executives of the party went on the various local radio stations in the region on Monday to express their profound gratitude to supporters and residents in the region for their support for the party.
Like the general atmosphere, there was uneasy calm among supporters of the two main contending parties in the region, following the delay of the EC to declare the winner.
Despite the fact that the NDC stood the possible winner, based on the provisional results, supporters of the NDC were in a tense mood, since the results were not certified, and anything could happened.
They occasionally moved their cars, amidst honking and the display of party flags, in readiness for jubilations.
On the other hand, supporters of the NPP took consolation from of the fact that there were six more constituencies left to be announced, and believed the results could turn to their favor.
The re-election of the NDC to manage the affairs of the country for the next four years, however, did not affect the busy and hustle of the Monday market activities, as traders and prospective buyers went about doing their business.
NDC supporters in Lower Manya Krobo Constituency within the Lower Manya Municipality were not left out of the jubilations, as the old and young could not hide their feelings for the party they owed allegiance to.
A former Assembly Member for the Kpong Parkson Electoral Area in the area, Evans Nash, was beside himself with not only that the party had won the 2012 elections, but also for the fact that their Member of Parliament (MP), Michael Teye Nyaunu, had been voted out.
According to him, the MP, who was a critic of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, lost the seat to a relatively known Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ebenezer Okletey Teilarbi, not because he went solo, but for the disrespect shown to the people of the constituency.
To him, the out-going MP for the area was too fond of insulting his constituents, including chiefs and opinion leaders in the area, saying that was his undoing.
He has, therefore, advised the MP-elect not to take the constituents for granted during his tenure in Parliament from 2013-2016.
He also advised jubilant supporters to be moderate in their celebrations, since over-doing it could lead to a different story.
Meanwhile, some NPP supporters in the area have demonstrated a great deal of political maturity, as they sent various congratulatory messages to their colleagues in the NDC