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23.11.2004 General News

NPP condemns alleged Rawlings assault on DCE

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Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Tuesday condemned the alleged assault on Mr Clement Apikiya, Bongo District Chief Executive, by Former President Jerry Rawlings and supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) last Sunday.

"The attack on the DCE clearly demonstrates the violent tendencies of the NDC and their incredibly low levels of tolerance, even in opposition," the NPP National Campaign Manager, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey said in a statement.

"While expressing sympathy for Mr Apikiya for the trauma and injuries, we hope that the law would be made to take its full course to signal to (Former President) Rawlings and his likes that the days of violence, lawlessness ... under the cover of party politics belongs to the past."

Police said they are investigating the assault claims filed by Mr Apikiya at the Bolgatanga Police Station.

Mr Apikiya told Journalists that he had a cut on his left eyebrow from splintered glass pieces during the incident, which occurred on Sunday night within the vicinity of the Catholic Mission and the Post Office at Bongo.

The DCE said he was driving from Dua, a nearby village, where he had attended a local festival toward his official residence on the road to Bolgatanga, when he encountered a crowd ahead of him between 1830 hours and 1900 hours.

He, therefore, tried to secure safe passage by moving slowly through the crowd honking and they responded by granting him access until he got to the thickest portion between the Catholic Mission and the Post Office.

At that point, the DCE said, some of the people prevented him from moving ahead by standing in the way of his vehicle so he halted. Mr Apikiya said Former President Rawlings suddenly emerged from the midst of the crowd and rushed to his side, where he had partially rolled down the glass.

"He thrust his hand into the window and vigorously shook my left shoulder, asking whether I wanted to kill the people," the DCE said.

"I told him I was only trying to drive home because that road was the only access route and I couldn't fly over the crowd."

Former President Rawlings has said he never assaulted Mr Apikiya. He said he only held his shoulder to draw his attention to what he was doing. He said there were witnesses in the vehicle, who could attest to what happened.

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