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03.10.2008 NPP News

Campaign for peace after NDC, NPP Clash At Berekum

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Michael Boateng, Berekum

The National Organizer of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has visited victims of the bloody political clash between supporters of the NPP and the NDC to express his personal sympathy and that of the party to the injured.

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo claimed he had been assigned by the NDC to ascertain what led to the clash, and described the incidence as very unfortunate. He said Ghanaians should live beyond lawlessness to protect the peace of the country.

The National Organizer of the NDC noted that the 2008 elections should not be seen as a do or die affair, to the extent that people have to shed blood instead of sticking to the democratic principles of elections.

According to him, media reports on the incidence have portrayed the NDC as the cause of the clash, due to the hasty manner in which the NPP organized a press conference to cover-up their acts of intimidation against supporters of the NDC.

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo added that the NDC believes in democracy, therefore they belief in the principle of losing or winning in any election, and would not resort to violence to scare its political opponents, but would rather abide by the democratic rules of elections to ensure peace before, during and after the elections.

He revealed that there have been several reports of provocation against the NDC by the NPP, but the National Executives of the NDC has advised its members to remain calm and resolute to support the campaign in peace, and to secure political victory come December 7.

The NDC National organizer stated that members of the party could have reacted to the recent "Shit Bombing" at the Berekum Constituency offices of the party, but due to the advice given by the national executives, the Constituency resorted to the appropriate agency for investigations.

He, however, stated that being a calm party did not necessarily mean cowardice, and that sometimes self-Defence was needed when provocation gets out of control. He assured that as peace loving people, the NDC would do its best to restrain its members from any acts of violence.

Hon. Ofosu Ampofo visited the family of a 23-year old victim of the incident, Salifu Musah, a third-year student of the Accra Training College, who sustained multiple knife injuries on his face, chest and the arms. He donated an amount of GH¢50 to the victim and assured the family that the party would offer the needed assistance to ensure the recovery of Musah, for him to get back to school.

The mother of the victim Mariamma Musah expressed her happiness to Mr. Ofosu Ampofo and the NDC for not betraying the son after the incident, and assured that the family would forever support the party to victory.

The NDC National Organizer and his entourage, made up of the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Berekum, Lord Oppong Stephen and some regional and Constituency Executives of the party visited other victims of the clash. Mr. Ofosu Ampofo had wanted to visit the District Police Commander, ASP Charles Koosono, who was injured during the clash, but he was out of town at the time of his visit.

The NDC national organizer therefore visited the Divisional Police Commander, ASP Lord Obeng Mensah to thank them for controlling the situation.

According to Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, the police should exercise their duty professionally to avoid unnecessary accusation of bias during the electioneering period. He said, though the police did well, the NDC still doubted the credibility of the investigations conducted before preparing nine NDC supporters for court, whilst only one NPP member was arrested.

Mr. Lord Obeng Mensah reacted that the police would always remain neutral as well as exercise their duty professionally and fairly without any political, religious and ethical bias, to ensure peace in the country. He suggested that for the interest of peace, the leadership of the two political parties should have met to settle the matter out of court for the followers to know that politics is not about war.

The Gyaasehene of Berekum Traditional area, Nana Okofo Darteh, has meanwhile withdrawn the case involving supporters of the NPP and NDC who were allegedly engaged in the Berekum bloody clash.

According to Nana Okofo Darteh, it was prudent to call for an out of court settlement of the case, since the culprits were all royals of Berekum, despite their political affiliations.

He therefore, assured that he would settle the matter with the support of other opinion leaders in the area, without any prejudice, to ensure peace and unity among the people of Berekum traditional area.

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