NDC Cries Over Registration Violence

DESPITE WIDE media reports that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is behind the series of violence that has characterized the registration exercise in Kumasi, the ruling party has responded swiftly, insisting it is innocent. The NDC alleged that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the region was behind all the troubles that had so far marred the national exercise, stressing that claims that the NDC was a violent party were false. Addressing a press conference at the Asafo office of the party on Monday, Joseph Yammin, the Ashanti regional scribe of the NDC, parried accusations that the NDC had hired thugs to attack its political opponents. He alleged that contrary to media reports, the NDC members were rather being attacked at the various registration centers across the region by NPP members. He was however silent on NDC goons vandalizing electoral materials in the region as well as attacking their political opponents. Yammin mentioned areas such as Ejisu Juaben, Adansi, Akrofuom, Tepa and Kumasi as some of the places that NDC agents had been attacked by the NPP. He lamented that several NDC gurus in the region had become victims of the NPP’s violent attacks, mentioning his party’s women’s organizer at Ejisu/Juaben Constituency, Gloria Huze as one of them. According to Yammin, Gloria was pelted with stones in broad day light by NPP goons who were captured on video, resulting in the lady sustaining several injuries including a dislocated shoulder. He insisted that other party members had also been brutalized by NPP members but so far noting had been done to them. Yammin urged the police to act professionally, avoid bias and immediately deal with any NPP member who had been captured on video creating chaos to destroy the registration exercise. The NDC, he argued, stood for peace and was prepared to do everything possible within its power to make the political process of the country thrive. He said having had enough of the NPP violence, the NDC was convinced that now was the time for the party to expose what the NPP had been doing to its members in the region. He showed pictures of NDC agents that had been maimed during the registration exercise to buttress his claim. The NDC scribe emphasised that all the troubles that had characterized the registration exercise were being perpetrated by the NPP but he was surprised that the largest opposition political party was painting a totally different picture portraying the NDC as a violent party. Yammin slammed the EC, especially one Diana Frimpong, a top EC official, for being in bed with the NPP, a situation which he alleged had helped the NPP to register minors- some as young as ten- in some registration centers. According to him, Ms Frimpong was spotted by NDC agents having a secret meeting with NPP parliamentary candidate for Bantama, Kwabena Kokofu, during which they hatched a plan to deny NDC agent’s challenge forms in the EC official’s jurisdiction so that the NPP could register minors. He claimed that the NPP tried registering a minor at Kronom recently and the NDC agent at the center protested so the NPP, who were bent on registering the minor, called in their thugs who came on motorbikes to assault the NDC agents. He said he was shocked to later learn that the NPP had used its propaganda machinery to blame the NDC for bringing in thugs to destroy the national process. Yammin cautioned the EC to shun bias and in the interest of Ghana’s democracy stay neutral so that all participating political parties in the impending polls would have faith in its work.