General News of Tuesday, 26 December 2017
The private residence of the former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and current Member of Parliament for the Asunafo South Constituency, Eric Opoku was this morning attacked by unknown assailants.
The MP had reportedly been holding series of engagements and meetings with his constituents in the building as part of activities to mark the Christmas festivities when at the time the incident took place.
The alleged assailants, numbering about six and wielding dangerous objects and machetes stormed Mr. Opoku’s residence at about 11:30am and forcefully gained access to the main building.
They reportedly broke the glass windows and doors of the house, vandalised several of the vehicles that had been parked on the property and other things they could lay their hands on.
However, when they failed to gain access to one of the top floors of the building where the participants of the event had been moved, the angry youths turned their attention to the private and commercials vehicles which had been hired by the sympathizers and supporters of the MP, breaking the windscreens, side mirrors and deflating the tyres.
According to Citi News checks, the programme hosted by the MP was an annual event organized to interact with his constituents to make merry, share experiences and also afford him the opportunity to render an account of his stewardship.
Confirming the incident to Citi News, the Director of Elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Constituency, Prince Nyarko said the programme was the fourth to have been organized by the party and the MP and saw over 300 people in attendance.
He alleged that members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) were behind the attack.
“We picked up signals and threats from the NPP supporters to attack the venue if people did not stop going to the house or the programme. We took the threats for granted and to our surprise, they came there with machetes and one of them was holding a gun and started attacking people in the house but fortunately, no injuries were recorded so we quickly moved them upstairs and they started destroying the parked vehicles including the rented commercial ones.
Surprisingly, what is the link between somebody’s private commercial vehicle which he is using for his business to earn a living and Eric Opoku’s political career? They destroyed his Landcruiser and four other cars in the process”, he narrated.
He said the matter had been reported to the District Police who assured them that investigations into the incident have commenced
He also pledged to assist the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book as he could identify a number of them.
Prince Nyarko assured supporters and sympathizers to remain calm and not attempt any reprisal attacks that would jeopardise the peace in the area as the MP and victims of the attack were safe and are waiting for directives and action from the police.
He observed Sankore has been a stronghold of the NDC since 1992 and accused the NPP of doing everything in their power to intimidate and cause fear and panic gain political power in the area.
“The cause in Asunafo South is purely political and one may ask why always Sankore? Where polling station matters in an election and Sankore has been the stronghold of the NDC since 1992 so the NPP is taking advantage to make the place ungovernable to prevent people from voting. So that is the only reason for these disturbances. So people coming in their numbers to welcome and interact with the MP in the numbers tell how unpopular their administration is in the constituency so that is why they are doing this”, he opined.
On the way forward to end these acts of violence and intimidations, Mr. Nyarko said the security agencies must let the law work in the constituency as a failure to enforce the existing laws was leading to the unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of properties.
“In the Asunafo South laws do not work. At the elections, you can count over 600 incidents pending at the police station, lives lost, money and properties destroyed. Even my house has been attacked more than nine times without reason,” he fumed.
He noted their common enemy was poverty, illiteracy and weak socio-economic development of the area and stretched a hand of friendship to all political parties and development partners to collaborate and fight for the economic transformation of the area.
Police in the area remain tight-lipped on the matter but Citi News checks revealed that the Regional Commander will be visiting the troubled area.