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21.03.2006 General News

NDC not involved in the smuggling of arms to the North - General Secretary

By GNA

Accra, March 21, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday said, in the interest of all peace-loving Ghanaians, it was better for the Police to investigate a newspaper publication that the NDC was smuggling arms to the North. The NDC asked that the Police should invite the Editor and the publisher to assist them in investigating the reports "The Vanguard" newspaper published on Monday March 20, that the Party was smuggling arms to the Northern Region.

A statement signed by Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the NDC, said the "Leadership of the NDC takes a very strong exception to the publications in the NPP (New Patriotic Party) sponsored newspaper. The NDC denied ever having any knowledge of being involved in any arms smuggled to the North. It said; "the publication in the Vanguard is, therefore, outrageous, unfounded and politically motivated to tarnish the image of NDC and should accordingly be dismissed by all discerning minds". The NDC said it had also taken note of the NPP's recent decision to withdraw from the Tamale Central bye-election. It said the NPP's withdrawal was out of the fear of losing a bye-election for the third time, which could affect its fortunes.

The NDC said the NPP had adopted a strategy to present Professor Wayo Seini officially as an independent candidate in breach of the NPP's stated disciplinary position, with the hope to manage the effects of a defeat. "The second leg of the NPP strategy is to instigate violence, use their "official" non-participation to escape from responsibility of their actions and dilute the victory of the NDC with the violence", the statement said. The NDC said the NPP claim that it withdrew in the bye-election in the interest of peace in Dagbon could not be sustained against the background that the NPP contested the 2004 General Election in the whole of Dagbon "when the wounds of the late Ya-Na's gruesome murder were fresher, tempers were higher and passions were more inflammable."

The NDC said again the second claim of the NPP that it had a comfortable majority in Parliament and that the "Tamale Central seat does not add nor take anything away from that majority is even weaker" since it had the same majority in Parliament and yet contested the bye elections in Asawase and Odododiodio constituencies. The NDC advised all its supporters to remain calm and to go about the bye-election campaign in peace and reminded the ruling NPP Government that with or without their official participation in the bye-election it could not escape the responsibility for maintaining peace in the whole country, including Tamale Central.

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