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18.03.2004 Regional News

Bontrase Youth stops registration officers

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Agona Swedru (C/R), March 18, GNA- Irate youth of Bontrase, near Awutu Bawjiase in the Central Region prevented registration Officers from the Agona District to register them on the first and second days of the exercise.

The youth alleged that since Bontrase falls under the Awutu-Effutu-Senya district, they would not allow registration officers from Agona district to undertake the exercise in that area.

Mr Serebour Quaicoe, Agona District Electoral Officer who told the Ghana News Agency(GNA) on Wednesday at Agona Swedru, said the irate youth started chasing the registration officers as soon as they settled down to begin work.

Mr Quaicoe said sensing danger, the officers had to pack their registration materials and run for their dear lives.

He said one would have thought that on the following day the youth were going to allow the officers to work, but they did not. The Electoral Officer said he quickly relayed the message to the District Chief Executive for Agona, Mr John Agyabeng to help find a solution to the problem.

Mr Quaicoe complained that the Bontrase issue had been a source of worry to the EC, and urged security personnel, political heads and opinion leaders in the area to help resolve the matter.

When the GNA contacted Mr Agyabeng, he confirmed the story, and said the District Security Council (DISEC) invited the chief of Bontrase, Nai Osardu for discussions on the issue, but he failed to honour the invitation.

Mr Agyabeng said when information reached him on Tuesday that the youth of Bontrase were refusing to register he dispatched a team of security men to the area the following day.

The DCE said the plan did not work, because the irate youth in the town had by then put on red bands amidst singing of war songs. He said in the evening of that same day, he dispatched another team of security personnel to Bontrase to convince the chief of the town Nai Osardu, but that did not work.

He hinted that the District Security Council is expected to convene an emergency council meeting to discuss the matter to enable innocent people in the area to register so that they would not be de-franchised.

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