As all is set for the two major political parties in the country, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to battle for the Offinso South parliamentary seat on Tuesday, October 24, 2006, top guns of both parties have started beating war drums.
This has begun to generate tension, sending signals of violence that is likely to characterize the impending by-election, as it happened during the Asawase by-election in April last year.
It is even feared that security personnel who would be deployed to supervise the election will have it tough since one of the political pundits in this threats of violence, Mr. Lord Commey, National Organizer of the NPP, has sent clear signals to the security men to do their job professionally on the day, to counteract any acts of molestation, intimidation and harassment, “from the NDC or the party will defend itself.”
Speaking at a function organized by the NPP at Offinso at the weekend, Mr. Commey, who said he was clarifying the term 'Action Troopers', which according to him means 'foot soldiers,' described the Asawase incident as a bad situation and “an apology of the security service”.
“At the Asawase by-election, we NPP activists saw the NDC thugs shooting in the air. The security personnel were there but they did nothing about that. I have warned that never again would we allow ourselves to be intimidated, harassed and brutalized by the NDC”, the NPP National Organizer roared.
According to him, the NPP expects both the police and the military to do their job professionally otherwise, they would be compelled to defend their members against any illegal actions of their opponents from the NDC.
He indicated that the NPP is not like women (weaker vessels) to succumb to the dictates of the NDC, “considered to be the most violent” political party in this country and warned them to stay clear and allow the impending by-election to be free and fair. And as if the charged Lord Commey was not satisfied with those comments, he went ahead to challenge the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Daniel Ohene-Agyekum, for a one-on-one debate on the kind of political party that introduced violence in the Ghanaian body politic.
Mr. Commey told the press that it was the Regional NDC kingpin who introduced violence into the body politic of this nation what he termed as “patapaa politics” – the beating, intimidation and harassment of eligible voters by macho men – when Agyekum was the then NDC Ashanti Regional Minister.
When news reached Mr. Ohene Agyekum about the pronouncements of the NPP National Organizer, he did not mince words and accepted the challenge of Mr. Commey.
“I am ready to debate Lord Commey. I've whole-heartedly accepted the challenge to debate him at any level,” Mr. Agyekum told Nkosuo Radio in Kumasi.
The NDC Regional Chairman continued that if it were the motive of their opponents to bring the so-called “Action Troopers” to Offinso, then they better rescind that decision since the NDC as opposition party, was and is still ready for them.
Even though Mr. Ohene-Agyekum told his host, Fred Asamoah, that the NDC would want peace and calm to prevail before, during and after the by-election, it would also not allow the NPP to flog them with any act that is contrary to those governing public elections in the country.