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04.04.2008 Politics


By Daily Guide
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The notorious Azorka Boys, a group of National Democratic Congress (NDC) hoodlums, have turned their guns on supporters of Hon. John Dramani Mahama, MP for Bole/Bamboi, who is rumoured to have been tipped to partner the party's presidential candidate, Prof John Evans Atta Mills.

The Azorka Boys, led by Sofo Azorka, a porter at the Tamale Market, are hunting down the supporters of John Mahama and others suspected to be sympathetic to the Bole Bamboi MP so they can teach them a lesson. Most NDC targets have fled the city as a result of the Azorka crackdown.

The alleged nomination of John Mahama has equally been shot down by the former first couple, who are rooting for Betty Mould Iddrisu, wife of NDC patriarch, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu.

However, Prof Mills may still go ahead with the announcement of Hon Mahama as his running mate next Wednesday despite threats from Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, who has protested strongly against the John-John ticket.

John Mahama was said to have pledged to immediately resuscitate the struggling Mills campaign.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the former Communications Minister and a member of the African Parliament was ready to discharge 50 Chinese pick-ups for distribution to the regions, a move which had earned the confidence of the flagbearer.

But the Azorka Boys were not ready for the Bole MP, despite a reconciliatory meeting with Prof Mills on Wednesday.

The NDC presidential candidate, DAILY GUIDE learnt, had Sofo Azorka and the Regional Chairman of the party, Alhaji Sumai Zakari flown from Tamale for a meeting after the group's Tuesday demonstration, in the course of which they defaced pictures of Mills and Rawlings and threatened to burn the party office if John Mahama was selected.

After Azorka and his group took Tamale by storm, registering their strong opposition to media reports that Hon Mahama, NDC Director of Communications had been picked to partner Prof Mills, they succeeded in chasing away people suspected to have a soft spot for John in the metropolis.

One of such persons was Mohammed Aboagye, who fled Tamale for dear life after the group threatened to teach him a lesson.

Aboagye, who was a friend to Azorka, incurred the wrath of the group when he led a counter NDC group to hold a press conference condemning the demonstration by Azorka and his group.

Accusing him of betrayal, the hooligans marched to Aboagye's house where they left a message that he had “bitten more than he could chew”.

With this deadly message, Aboagye could not return to his house, and decided to take refuge elsewhere.

According to Azorka and his group, they would not support any running mate who was not a Muslim.

They said they could only rally behind the party if Prof Mills selected a Muslim.

Even though they did not mention any name in particular, there were strong indications that the group supports Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the 2004 running mate, who was said to have only succeeded in adding Andani votes to Mills efforts in the last general elections.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE from his hideout, Aboagye said his life was in danger.

According to him, he took to his heels upon realizing that threats of the Azorka Boys should not be taken lightly.

He explained that since his group could not allow the Azorka Boys to create confusion in the party, they decided to water down the damage through their press conference.

Aboagye said the NDC could win with any person the flagbearer picked as running mate, pointing out that playing the religious card was unhealthy for the party.

These comments, he said, were what drew the ire of the Azorka Boys who were bent on teaching him and his cohorts a lesson.

The Azorka boys gained notoriety during the NDC's ill-fated Koforidua congress in December 2005 which led to the breakaway of some elements to form the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).

They beat former Women's Organiser of the party, Frances Awurabena Asiam to pulp, until she was whisked away by police.

The group did not even spare the deputy National Chairman of the party, Nasam Asabrigi, who was also said to have been attacked during last Tuesday's demonstration.

The likes of Huudu Yahya, former NDC General Secretary, and Ibrahim Adam, former Minister of Food and Agriculture, were also not in the good books of the Azorka boys.

By Fortune Alimi

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