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19.07.2004 NPP News

NPP 'Al Queda' draws blood ...

By The Chronicle
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- Top constituency executive stabbed - AMA man fingered as mastermind A group of thugs, wielding offensive implements and calling themselves 'al-Qaeda', on Saturday stormed the Okaikoi North Constituency office of the NPP and attacked the executives.

The bloody attack, allegedly led by Mr. Dickson Yaw Adjei Amankwaa, an aspiring parliamentary candidate, left Mr. John Owusu Afriyie, the constituency chairman with a badly damaged eye and the constituency Youth Organiser, Abudulai Banda with bruises on his body, The Chronicle gathered.

Amankwah, who is the Special Assistant to the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, reportedly stormed the party offices with an AMA vehicle with registration Number GT 7961P in which his group sped away after the incident.

The victims, Mr. Afriyie and Mr. Banda were taken to the Tesano Police station where they lodged complaint. They were issued with police medical forms for treatment at Achimota hospital. They were discharged later in the day.

No arrest was made but the Police were said to be searching for Amankwah and the “al-Qaeda” boys.

Mr. Afriyie who spoke to The Chronicle late Saturday, after receiving treatment at the hospital expressed disbelief about the attack and said he would pursue the case to its logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to people who behaved as if politics was a life and death matter.

Flanked by some top NPP officials, Afriyie said on Saturday, between 10.30am and 11am the constituency executives met at the offices of the party to strategize and hoist party flags in the constituency.

He said on the eve of that meeting, most of the party executives received threatening calls from some unidentified persons to the effect that they would be assaulted and killed if they did not support Amankwa for his parliamentary ambitions.

He said some of them considered the threat as an act of cowardice and did not attach any seriousness to it.

“In fact I did not take the threat serious until Amankwah and the boys stormed the party office to attack us,” Afriyie told the paper.

He said while they were about to leave the office to carry out their plans, Amankwah arrived in the company of some persons in an AMA vehicle with registration number GT7961P.

Amankwah alighted and confronted the chairman demanding to know why the Constituency Executives sent a petition to the party's national headquarters stating that he was not a resident of the constituency and therefore did not qualify to contest the seat.

According to Afriyie, he explained that the petition was in reaction to an earlier one sent to the party's headquarters by Amankwah and his supporters.

“Before I could explain further Amankwah removed his shirt and attacked me while his boys, calling themselves “al-Qeada”, joined in the confrontation and in the process I was stabbed while they pounced on other executive members at the office,” he narrated.

Owusu Afriyie said he and Amankwah had been friends for years and he recalled advising Amankwah at one time that if he was interested in contesting the Okaikoi North seat in future he must be a resident but he ignored the advice.

He said when the party opened parliamentary nominations Amankwah filed his nomination to contest the primary but some of the contestants who were all aware that he was not living at the constituency, objected and petitioned the National Vetting Committee.

“With the Wulensi example in mind and looking at the sacrifice some of us have made over the years to build this party I cannot sit down unconcerned for the unexpected to happen,” Afriyie said, adding that they had no alternative but to let the vetting committee know the truth.

“All that we want to say is that even if we do not have a qualified candidate to contest the seat, characters like Amankwah cannot be our MP,” a leading NPP shot whom this reporter reached for his comment, posted.

“We are not slumbering we are watching; we will not sacrifice the party for any egocentric to take us for a ride,” another constituency executive stated.

Efforts to reach Amankwah for his comment were unsuccessful but the paper picked the names of some of the people who followed Amankwah for the operation as Osei Yaw Akoto, a security man at Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Paul Arthur, Sarfo Benjamin, Kofi Aboagye, Michael Asare and Brako Stephen, all of whose addresses were not immediately known.

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