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26.03.2004 Regional News

MP accuse Deputy Regional Minister of politics of deception

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Koforidua, March 25, GNA- The Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo has accused the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Gustav Narh-Dometey of using his official capacity to "practice politics of deception" to get Krobos in the Fanteakwa Constituency to cross over to register in the Upper Manya Constituency where he is contesting the Parliamentary seat on the NPP ticket.

He said Mr Narh-Dometeh is reported to have gone to the Fanteakwa District to misinform the Krobos that the government could not grant a new district to the Upper Manya area because of the low number of registered voters and therefore they should cross over to the Upper Manya constituency to register as voters to swell the number to enable the area to be granted the district status.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo alleged that after that misinformation, Mr. Narh-Dometey used his agents to distribute 600,000 cedis each to the Dademantsemei (Krobo Community Leaders) in the area to beat "gongong" to inform their people to go and register in Upper Manya and provided money to his agents for those who are willing to travel to Upper Manya to register.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo made the allegations at a press briefing in Koforidua on Thursday, on his observation of the on-going registration exercise after touring his constituency.

He said the issue was creating tension in some of the Krobo settlements in his constituency where some assemblymen who felt their future positions in the District Assemblies would be threatened by the current developments, were trying to physically prevent their electorates from moving to the Upper Manya area to register.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo claimed that as a result of the "deception", some registration centres in the Korbo settlement areas in Fanteakwa were recording very low turn out and cited one of them, Summuer Junction, the registration officer had informed him that ever since the Dadematse of the area beat a "gongong" to ask his people to cross over to Upper Manya to register, no Krobo has come to the centre to register.

According to him, most of the Krobos in his constituency came from either Somanya, Odumase or Assesewa, but "they are just crossing into Upper Manya to register in the villages near the boundaries with Fanteakwa where they don't have houses nor have stayed continuously for six months or lived in those communities, as prescribed by the law on the registration exercise."

He called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the allegation to establish the truth of the case.

When Mr Narh-Dometey was contacted for his version on the allegation, he described Mr Ofosu-Ampofo's concern as "an expression of desperation for the campaign strategy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)." He said the allegations "is one of the methods being employed by the opposition parties to find fault with the NPP to use it as grounds to boycott the registration exercise."

Mr. Narh-Dometey said "I just appealed to Krobos in Fanteakwa to go home to help and that does not mean that all those who come to register in Upper Manya Constituency would be voting for the NPP." He denied that he had given money or transported anybody to travel from Fanteakwa to register in Upper Manya Constituency and that if Mr Ofosu-Ampofo has any evidence, he could meet him in court to prove his case.