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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elvis Afriyie downplays violence in NDC constituency elections

Elvis Ankrah
Elvis Ankrah

Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has played down reports of violence that has dogged the party's constituency elections in parts of the country.

The Akropong constituency election in the Eastern Region had to be postponed indefinitely after a group of soldiers, armed to the teeth, reportedly besieged the polling station.

Chairman of the constituency, Julius Debrah told Joy News he had to call off the election to protect life and property.

That notwithstanding, he confirmed reports of assaults on some members of the party, and wondered why a constituency election should provoke such violence and tension.

Here in Accra, it was the police who were alleged to have subjected an NDC member in the Korle Clottey constituency to severe beating after he dared to take a picture of his colleague who was being brutalized by the same police.

Alex Ofei Agyemang told Joy News his colleague had gone to protest the organisation of a ward election when branch elections had not been organised in Asylum Down, only to be pounced on by some police personnel. He was not spared either when he took a picture of them.

He claimed to have sustained a broken nose, and his mouth, gushed with blood following the police’s pummeling.

He accused the Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey of masterminding the brutalities and called for his resignation.

“A party that I have toiled for, I have died for with my life with my blood, now see, look at my dress they are all full of blood. You could see for yourself. This cannot go on. I urge the president to call the regional minister to order and ask him to resign,” he narrated, but Mr Ashietey has since denied the allegations.

In Kumasi, over a hundred supporters of the party allegedly disrupted a meeting organised by the regional minister and some DCE’s ahead of the regional constituency conference. The supporters claimed the meeting was to plot against the election of Frank Osei Mensah as regional chairman because of his perceived links with ex-president Rawlings.

But in an interview with Joy News Mr Elvis Ankrah expressed grave concern about the reported violence but said those were exceptions rather than the rule.

Describing the violence as challenges which are akin to governance, Mr Ankrah promised the party will find lasting solutions to the problem.

He said the NDC has found itself in such an “explosive situation” but has managed to contain it each time it arises adding the party is “solid and intact”

He sounded biblical when the host of Joy FM’s News night programme Bernard Saibu opined the pockets of violence could be preludes of what to expect in the party's national executive elections scheduled to take place in January next year.

“I refuse that prophecy in Jesus name, it will not happen,” he said.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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