NPP Meeting Turns Boxing Ring

What started as a meeting of polling station executives in the Krowor branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), later degenerated into fisticuffs and brandishing of a knife, which led to the members running helter-skelter for their dear lives.

A polling station coordinator of the party in the constituency, Mr. Dan Ayaba, believed to be one of the boys of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ayiko Otoo, was said to have beaten up a polling station executive, Benjamin Dadzie.

He was alleged to have first delivered a hefty punch to the left cheek of his victim, and when he tried resisting, Ayaba pulled out a kitchen knife from his back, and started chasing anyone who attempted to stop him, compelling all present to run for their lives.

According to the party executives, they decided to hold a meeting to rekindle the spirit of their polling station executives to start mobilising at the grassroots level.

They, therefore, called Ayaba, in his capacity as the polling station coordinator in the constituency, and gave him money to invite all who mattered, that is, five executives each from all the 14 polling stations.

Later, Ayaba came back to inform one of them that Ayiko Otoo, who was the parliamentary candidate for the party in the constituency, had told him not to call any meeting, because apart from the fact that they did not inform him, as the parliamentary candidate before organising the meeting, the party had placed a ban on the holding of meetings until the 2012 election brouhaha, currently in court, has been dealt with.

“Having this at the back of our minds, we did not worry ourselves to get Ayaba to organise the rest of the polling station executives for us, rather, we decided to do things ourselves,” one of the executive members told the paper.

They continued that while the meeting, which was held at the house of one Mr. Afful, who is also a polling station chairman at the Batsonaa area, was ongoing, with the constituency organiser, Paul Wilson addressing the floor, Ayaba stormed there, and asked why they were holding the meeting.

Before anybody could say Jack, Ayaba delivered a hefty blow to the face of Benjamin Dadzie, who was the first person in his way, in the presence of all the polling station executives. He then proceeded to draw a kitchen knife, which resulted in all those present running helter-skelter from the meeting grounds.

They reported the case to the Nungua Divisional Police Headquarters, and Ayaba was arrested and placed in custody.

The crime officer for the Nungua Divisional headquarters confirmed the story in an interview with this reporter, and disclosed that his outfit was still investigating the case.

The party executives are accusing Ayiko Otoo as the man behind Ayaba and others who are creating confusion in the party, saying they believed that it was through his instrumentality that he was granted bail.

They believe that he was not in support of the meeting, because he was not the one who called it, adding that for some time now, the Krowor parliamentary candidate had refused to allow the executives to hold meetings, especially when he had not been informed, saying such meetings were being organised to destroy him.

But, Ayikoi Otoo has denied being behind Ayaba to create confusion in the party in the constituency, as the constituency executives are alleging.

Speaking in a telephone interview with the paper, the former Attorney General in the Kufuor administration said the constituency executives making these claims were people opposed to his candidature, and therefore, bent on destroying his image.

According to him, when he got the nod to become the parliamentary candidate for the constituency in 2008, he spent so much money reorganising the party so well that he was able to win more votes for the party from the constituency.

However, in the 2012 elections, the executives decided to support a former candidate, and even went further to wage a ‘skirt and blouse’ campaign during the period, because their candidate did not get the nod at the primary.

According to him, he was, therefore, not surprised that they wanted to draw him into this issue, which he has no knowledge about whatsoever.

He explained that Ayaba was the was the coordinator of all the polling stations in the area, and decided to stop them, because they did not inform him about it, even though it was taking place in his backyard, hence his decision not to allow them hold the meeting.