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NPP, NDC Clash At Zongo   
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Peace was breached and public order thrown overboard an hour after Saturday midnight at Sabon Zongo, Accra when supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and their New Patriotic Party (NPP) counterparts hurled plastic chairs at each other amidst trading of invectives during an Islamic activity.

So bad was the situation that the National Chief Imam, Sheik Nuhu Sharubutu, the guest of honour, abandoned the activity and headed for home as did the candidates for both political parties and the many invitees at the occasion.

The Islamic spiritual leader was returning to the venue after a brief break when hell broke loose and even though he sought to intervene he was advised not to even enter given the dangerous unfolding situation.

Trouble started when during the activity to commemorate the elevation of a certain Shehu Malam Sani as Hadimin Tariqan Tijanniyya of the Greater Accra Region, a position in the Tijanniyya sect by the National Chief Imam, the NPP candidate for the Ablekuma Central constituency, Ebenezer Tei was prevented from making some remarks as did his NDC counterpart, Theophillus Tetteh Chei before him.

According to an eyewitness, who spoke on anonymity, “Malam Abdul Wadudu who should have rendered a narration of the birth of the Holy Prophet was told to hold on by Babanlami Sadat of the Office of the Vice President because according to him the TV Africa crew was about to leave and so the MP’s remarks be captured before its departure.”

When the NPP supporters also demanded that their candidate too be allowed to make his remarks after his NDC counterpart, a certain Alhaji Muntala Waziri, Chairman of the Hajj Agents Association stopped the candidate, the source of the mayhem which could have resulted in broken limbs and even fatalities given the charged atmosphere.

That was when hell broke loose and the throwing of plastic chairs preceded the exchange of intemperate language prompting the abrupt cessation of activities which included the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet of Islam or Mauludu Nabiyi as it is known in Arabic.

What should have been a lavish celebration with the slaughter of eight cows and the invitation of important personalities from across society among other goodies ended in confusion rendering Sabon Zongo avoidably tensed up even at the time of filing this report yesterday.

Ironically the two political party candidates who were earlier seen exchanging pleasantries with each other left the scene together leaving their hosts to their faith.

If politics was the immediate cause of the confusion which brought the activity to an abrupt end the remote one was the disagreement some Tijanniyya members had for the elevation of the gentleman to an exalted position in the Tijanniyya sect of Islam.

It was also interesting that all the speakers who spoke at the event dwelt on the theme of “Towards a violent-free 2012 elections” before hell broke loose.

A certain Malam Issa, who also witnessed the incident said, “This is unacceptable. We cannot understand why some NDC elements think that all of us should belong to their party. This is embarrassing and shameful given the fact that the National Chief Imam was present at the venue when confusion rocked the activity. Look at how they were banging on his vehicle.”

One Salifu Shaban, who was a target of attack, had to rely on a human shield provided for him by some sympathizers to protect him from charging NDC activists.

The conduct of the Chairman of the Hajj Agents Association, which triggered all the trouble, has been described by media personnel at the event as reprehensible.

One of them even added “such persons should be watched because they can plunge a whole community into an avoidable and unnecessary trouble. Imagine what could have happened had the trouble spread into this volatile suburb.

Some Imams have for a while sermonized at the weekly Friday congregational prayers of Muslims on the need for peace and admonished Zongo youth not to allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians.

A fortnight ago there was a conflicting report of how former Vice President Aliu Mahama was prevented from chairing the annual Ramadan conference in Sunyani by NDC elements.

The situation was explained later by one of those accused of embarrassing the former Vice President who said that it was demeaning of the immediate past Vice President to chair such a function when the regional chief imam could do so.

He explained that Alhaji Aliu Mahama made a speech at the function after all.
Source: A.R. Gomda/D-Guide

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