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26.03.2004 NPP News

NPP and NDC clash at registration centre

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Akomadan (Ash), March 25, GNA -Confusion broke out on Wednesday at the Dwendabi registration centre in the Offinso North constituency when a group of activists of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) prevented 17 people from registering at the centre.
Tempers flared-up, generating into hot verbal exchanges and when good sense finally prevailed, one of the NDC activists, Nelson Gyasi, was spotted with a deep cut on the forehead from a head butt. Briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the incident at Akomadan, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) George Adu, the District Police Commander, said an Urvan busload of voters arrived at the Dwendabi centre to register from Namong in the Offinso South constituency at about 0930 hours on Wednesday.
He said just around the same time NDC activists who said they were monitoring the exercise also got to the centre and on spotting the people insisted that they were unknown in the community and would therefore, not be allowed to register there.
ASP Adu said those voters on the other hand maintained that Dwendabi and several other nearby farming communities in the Offinso North were located on a parcel of land belonging to the people of Namong.
They claimed that over the years they have always registered for elections and voted in the area and would not budge to the demand that they leave the centre.
The Police Commander said in the heat of the confusion, attention was drawn to the fact that those who felt dissatisfied could fill challenge forms.
Incidentally, there were no challenge forms at the centre so both parties drove in their different vehicles with the registration officials to Afrancho to collect some of the forms from the returning officer.
ASP Adu said once again there was a near nasty clash between the two groups, as they could not agree on which vehicle the registration officials should carry the forms. He said the police quickly intervened and amicably resolved the matter.
The District Police commander said he made it clear to both parties that it was not within the right of any person or group to prevent any eligible voter from registering and that if there was any reason to suspect that one was unqualified, the proper thing to do was to fill a challenge form.
When the GNA got in touch with Mr Kwadwo Appiah-Kubi Junior, the NDC parliamentary candidate for the area, he described the incident as unfortunate.
He, however, called for vigilance among the people to ensure that the Electoral Commission (EC) produces a credible voters' register for the December polls.

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