Violence & Bribery At NPP Primaries
...Aspirant stabbed twice in the abdomen! ...Party women go on rampage!! ...Constituency Office vandalised, Secretary assaulted!!! ...Youth Organiser pummelled into near coma !!!! ...Demonstrating polling station chairmen run helter skelter !!!!! ...25-year old man loses three teeth !!!!!! If the goings on at the NPP primaries are signs of things to come, then this year's Presidential and Parliamentary elections could very easily turn into civil war, for if NPP-on-NPP violence can turn so violent and so bloody, then one can only imagine what an NPP-on-NDC violence will look like.
From all over the country, NPP members are not just disagreeing among themselves over the primaries - they are attacking themselves, they are slashing themselves with cutlasses and machetes, they are insulting themselves, and they are fighting themselves.
In several cases the police have had to fire warring shots. In some cases canisters of tear gas have had to be thrown.
There have been occasions where aspiring candidates have lured, camped, fed, bribed and organised delegates with huge sums of money. It is alleged that some aspiring candidates have had to go in for huge sums of loans in foreign currency in order to bribe the delegates.
Our Monitoring Desk has been following these developments, and today brings you a summary of only some of the more nasty and unseemly incidents in these NPP-on-NPP conflicts.
The Youth Wing and the Nasara Club removed all NPP flags and signboards and replaced them with those of the CPP because the primaries were rigged in favour of the candidature of Reverend Ben Donkor, a candidate in the Party primaries. (Independent, Monday, May 10, 2004, Front Page)
Campaign Manager Anthony Ansah of 33-year old aspirant Ramseyer Agyeman-Prempeh was stabbed twice in the abdomen by thugs allegedly employed by a close confidant, 'Galas', of incumbent MP and Minister responsible for Fisheries Ishmael Ashietey. Daily Dispatch, 20th May, 2004, Front Page)
Over 3,000 NPP women organised into a Union to receive loans from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs went on the rampage against the NPP Constituency Women's Organiser Adjoa Serwaa, for failure of the loans to materialise after paying ¢5,000 per woman registration fee and ¢2,000 monthly dues from September 2001-April 2003. Independent, Thursday, May 20, 2004, Front Page)
“Offinso South NPP supporters besiege headquarters” - Over 70 aggrieved members of the Offinso South constituency besieged the party headquarters in Accra from 4 a.m. to protest against the suspension of the primaries, wearing red armbands and red headgears and red attire. (Daily Graphic, Thursday, August 12, 2004, Page 13)
Angry supporters of Mohammed Tahiru Nambe, a KNUST final-year student and aspiring candidate, stormed the constituency office, vandalised and exchanged words with the Constituency Secretary and assaulted him following his disqualification for filing his nomination papers late. (Ghanaian Times, Monday, May 4, 2004, Page 3)
Aspirant Prince Ofosu Adjei, a Chartered Accountant, pounced on Constituency Youth Organiser Kofi Opoku, aka Okri, and pummelled him into near coma whilst blood oozed freely from Kofi Opoku's nose for supporting another contestant, Nana Amoateng Ameyaw. (Independent, Thursday, May 27, 2004, Front Page)
“Chiefs Clash with NPP Executives” - Party Executives and certain Nkoranza chiefs engaged in a verbal tango for over an hour with Lord Commey and Dan Botwe shoving and pushing the chiefs and asking them to quit the Party's Headquarters premises in Accra over the chiefs' petition for the disqualification of an NPP primaries candidate. (Independent, Monday, August 30, 2004, Front Page)
Atta-Amponsah, Constituency Chairman, was stripped of his post as Chairman in order to be allowed to file his nomination papers as a candidate. (Chronicle, Thursday, May 27, 2004, Back Page)
The NPP office was turned into a boxing arena where party differences were settled not by the party constitution but by fisticuffs as Party Chairman Adum Acheampong, alias Achiss, and his Vice, Bismarck Osae, traded in a bloody fight that culminated into spilling of blood and destruction of properties, with Achiss, without any provocation delivering a hefty blow to the face of Bismarck and followed it with a combination of two uppercuts sending him sprawling to the ground, whereupon Bismarck gathered strength and picked a wooden chair which he directed to the face of the Chairman, with NPP supporters gathered at the scene having a tough time to separate the two, arising from which of four contestants should be the Parliamentary candidate namely Sampson Kweku Boafo, a lawyer, Nana Ohene Ntow, Government Spokesman on Finance, Kojo Afari, Party Director of Communications, with the incumbent Agyare Koi-Larbi lurking in the shadows. (Vanguard, June 21 - June 26, 2004, Front Page)
Preparations for the primaries by the two contestants, Ms. Christine Churcher and Mr. Godwin Buckman triggered off violence and division among the rank and file of the members. (Evening News, Wednesday, June 23, 2004, Page 5)
“Churcher sails through amidst confusion” - Tension, animosity and confusion characterised the primaries of the NPP in the Cape Coast constituency, which elected Ms. Christine Churcher, the MP, as the candidate. (Daily Graphic, August 16, 2004)
Accusation of the DCE campaigning for the incumbent aspirant Mrs. Grace Coleman, resulting in supporters of the other aspirants threatening to engage the DCE in a fierce encounter should he continue with his alleged illegal campaign, The 'Chronicle' reporter following the story receiving some collateral damage from the DCE in the process. (Chronicle, Saturday, June 26, 2004, Page 13)
AYAWASO WEST WUOGON
Lord Commey, National Organiser of the NPP and Alhaji Yusif Ahmed, Greater Accra Youth Organiser of the party thought it not morally right to vote while the other candidate (Amoo) had been hospitalised. They were met with verbal insults as party members vented their anger on Mr. Commey for moving out and started throwing all kinds of missiles at him so he had to be whisked away in a police patrol car. Indeed for the second time, armed policemen had to escort them out amidst pelting of stones and insults. (Chronicle)
Trouble brews in Ayawaso West Wuogon NPP. (Daily Graphic, August 17, 2004)
“Moneycracy” in NPP - Incumbent MP Dr. William Boakye Akoto damned the Party General Secretary and accused the NPP of practising “moneycracy” after losing the primaries and threatened to contest as an independent candidate. (Insight, Wednesday 11th Thursday 12th August, 2004, Front Page)
“Banished-For opposing Volta Region Minister” - 70-year old Mr. Agbenoto was banished from Kwamikrom town where he had lived for 53 years by the chief, Nana Siki I, for supporting the losing primaries candidate Edward Collins Boateng, against the Volta Regional Minister, Kwasi Owusu Yeboah. (Searchlight, Friday, August 13-Thursday, August 19, 2004, Front Page)
“NPP primaries brouhaha - Blows at Party hqrs” - NPP National Headquarters in Accra witnessed yet another violent demonstration by over 200 polling station chairmen and constituency executives from Salaga constituency who besieged the party offices, heckled officials, and demanded forms for their constituency primaries, objecting to attempts to impose independent MP Boniface Saddique on them. Armed police were called in, causing some of the demonstrators to run helter skelter. One person was injured. (Chronicle, Thursday, August 19, 2004, Front Page)
“NPP executive, youth clash over choice of candidate - The latest controversy in the furore over the choice of candidates is centred on the Wa Central constituency where the regional executive and other top personalities were heading for a collision course with the locals insisting on primaries and the national executives bent on imposing Clement Eledi, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture on them. (Evening News, Thursday, August 19, 2004, Front Page)
ASANTE AKIM SOUTH
“Angry NPP youth heckle parliamentary candidate” - The newly elected NPP parliamentary candidate, Mrs. Gifty Ohene Konadu, was nearly manhandled by peeved NPP youth at Obogu, protesting against her selection to contest because she “bribed her way through”. (Evening News, Thursday, August 19, 2004, Page 5)
Salaga, Ablekuma South NPP demand fair play at primaries” - Some supporters of the NPP in the Ablekuma South constituency besieged the headquarters of the party calling for the nullification of the primary which elected the incumbent MP, Madam Theresa Amerley Tagoe, wearing red armbands and dresses with placards reading, “Imposition is a violation of our constitution”; “Where is the ¢100 million European Loan for toilet facilities at Ablekuma”; “Please NPP executive stop cheating”. (Daily Graphic, Tuesday, August 24, 2004, Page 12)
“Blows at Atiwa primary” - A twenty-five year old man lost three teeth while another man, also in his twenties, sustained a cut in the side of his right eye when two groups of people believed to be supporters of two parliamentary candidates for the constituencies clashed just before the Party primary at Abomosu on Sunday. (Evening News, Wednesday, August 25, 2004, Front Page)
“Blows at NPP Congress-Lord Commey Assaults Woman” - The National Organiser of the NPP, Mr. Lord Commey on Saturday delivered two heavy slaps to the face of a female party supporter who dared tell him to the face that he was a homosexual. This was part of the ugly scenes that ensued following the disqualification of one of the contestants, with police firing warning shots and tear gas to disperse the crowd, whilst the crowd retaliated by throwing stones and other implements at the police. (Searchlight, Monday, August 30-Tuesday, September 5, 2004, Front Page)
See also “Gun Shots Fired-At NPP Primary (Daily Guide, Monday, August 30, 2004, Front Page)
Se also “NPP Chairman runs for dear life” (Ghanaian Voice, August 30-31, 2004, Front Page)
“Controversy hits Asikuma Odoben Brakwa” - NPP supporters at Asikuma Odoben Brakwa have vowed to vote “skirt and blouse” because of the behaviour and utterances of the MP, Mr. P. C. Appiah-Ofori, who has won the primary to contest on the ticket of the party for the second time. (Independent, Monday, August 30, 2004, Back Page)
“Party guru drags two aspirants to court” - Two parliamentary aspirants in the constituency have been dragged before an Accra High Court by a member of the party, restraining them from contesting the primaries following the decision of the national executives of the party to disqualify the incumbent MP. (Chronicle, Tuesday, August 31, 2004, Back Page).