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05.08.2004 NDC News

Attempts to sabotage the NDC Manifesto launch

By Palaver
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When TV3 showed on its 12 o'clock news item last Sunday that the people of Kumasi did not seem very interested in the NDC Manifesto launch, and that flags and other paraphernalia of the Party were not very visible in the metropolis, little did they know that this was a deliberate NPP ploy to play down the event and try to prevent it garnering the kind of support that was shown for the 'Kafuo Didi' March last year.

'Ghana Palaver' learnt that days before the Launch, Metropolitan Chief Executive Kofi 'Ghana' Jumah had caused announcements to be made on the local FM stations that no political party flags could be displayed in the city without his approval.

When NDC activists hung out the Party flags, he got staff of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to drive around the city to remove all the flags which were hung next to NPP flags, which were not touched but were left intact, resulting in some fracas in a few places.

'Ghana Palaver' correspondents in Kumasi were around and saw new flags brought from Accra hoisted on Friday night around 10.00 p.m. By 6.00 a.m. on Saturday morning, not a single one of the NDC flags could be seen. They had simply been removed during the night.

A giant billboard of Professor Mills erected at the Asafo Market roundabout had to be guarded "all night long" by NDC activists to protect them from destruction by thugs of Kofi Jumah. That was the billboard available to be captured on the TV3 footage in its 12 o'clock news item on Sunday.

As for expression of disinterest, it was obvious that the scenes that TV3 shot and showed last Sunday afternoon were taken very far from the Prempeh Assembly Hall venue of the event.

And as for the shots of the empty Hall that must have been taken hours before the event, it did the otherwise objective TV3 station a lot of discredit, for the milling crowd that turned out for the Launch completely put the lie to the lie that the news item sought to portray that the event was not patronised.

From 'Ghana Palaver's own assessment, the crowd that gathered at the precincts of the Prempeh Assembly Hall was almost as big, if not bigger than, the crowd that participated in the 'Kafuo Didi' march. And considering that this was an indoor event, it was a mammoth crowd indeed.

Clearly, whatever disorganisation tactics the NPP deployed did not work. It was a day for the NDC. It was a day for Professor Atta-Mills.