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26.01.2010 NPP News

NPP thugs chase away delegates

By Albert Nana Asante, Obuasi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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A constituency congress organized by the Obuasi branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to elect new officers for the party turned violent on Sunday, when thugs wielding machetes, axes and guns, among others, mounted a road block to prevent delegates from trooping to the congress grounds to cast their votes.

The thugs, who reportedly belong to a faction in the party, claimed that an injunction had been placed on the conference and they do not understand why their opponents were bent on holding it.

Journalists who had nothing to do with the so called factions in the party were not spared, as they were chased away by the thugs, when they attempted to cross the barrier and get to the congress grounds to cover the event.

The police, who should have provided security at the conference grounds, also boycotted the event, after being told on Saturday, a day to the conference that an injunction has been placed on it, and that they would be cited for contempt if they announce their presence at there.

The Electoral Commission officials, who were to conduct the elections, also did not turn up for the same reason.

The Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Emmanuel Amissah, in an interview with Shaft FM's Papa Nyameke Acquatic, yesterday confirmed that indeed the party, through its former Constituency Secretary, applied for police protection at the conference.

The police agreed to send ten of their personnel, but had to rescind the decision after the former second vice chairman of the party had told him that an injunction had been placed on the election.

Efforts to reach the Obuasi Municipal electoral officer, Mr. Francis Addai Boateng, for his side of the story proved futile, as his cell phone was off.

Investigations conducted by this reporter after the fracas revealed that the faction belonging to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi, Hon. Edward Ennin, who is also linked to the camp of Alan Kyerematen, a presidential aspirant for the party, withdrew from the election because they were afraid of being cited for contempt, though they appeared before the vetting committee which ordered for the conduct of the election on Sunday.

Mrs. Faustina Boadu, a former second vice chairperson of the party in the constituency, also told The Chronicle in a telephone interview that four aggrieved persons of the party applied for interlocutory injunction against the conference, therefore, she and other party leaders decided to stay away.

On 19th January 2010, Mr. Yaw Sarfo Asare and three others, through their counsel Kwame Owusu Sekyere Esq., prayed a Kumasi High Court for an order to restrain the defendants, the N.P.P per the national chairman, the regional chairman and the Obuasi constituency chairman from conducting the Obuasi constituency election, pending final determination of the case.

Interacting with the Press after the elections, the newly elected secretary of the party, Mr. Edward Akuoko, explained that both the police and the electoral commission informed the party in the last hour that “they cannot be present at the congress due to circumstances beyond their control”.

On the issue of the contempt, he said “it is neither here nor there, since the court was yet to respond to application by the aggrieved members”.

At the end of the disputed conference, the former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Obuasi, Mr. Joseph Kwadwo Boampong was elected the new constituency chairman of the party. Messrs S. K. Amoah, Baba Alhassan, Edward Kwesi Akuoko, and F. E. Ackah were elected first vice Chairman, second vice Chairman, Secretary and deputy Secretary respectively.

The rest are Messrs Iddrisu Mohammed, Kojo Asare, Alexander Asuman and Madam Fauzia Amadu, who were also declared Organizer, Youth Organizer, Treasurer and Women Organizer respectively.

The elections were supervised by the former deputy constituency Secretary of the party, Mr. Evans Addison.

Meanwhile, the MP for Obuasi has vowed to do everything within his powers to ensure the nullification of the election, since according to him, the circumstances under which the new executives were elected was unconstitutional.

He also wondered why the election was conducted at Nyamebekyere, a town which does not fall within the Obuasi constituency

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