THE Minority Members of Parliament of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the Krobo Block in the Eastern Region have expressed worry over alleged intimidation being mounted on them by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) members at the ongoing voter registration centres.
The MPs- Ampem Thomas Nyarko, Asuoagyaman; Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Lower Manya Krobo; Magus Krobo Amoatey, Yilo Krobo and other parliamentary candidates such as Albert Tetteh Nyakotey, Somanya; and Bismark Tetteh, Upper Manya Krobo including their constituency Chairmen held a press conference to register their protest..
According to MPs and their constituency chairmen in a joint statement, the registration exercise which started in the EC designated centres in their constituencies since 30th June 2020 had so far been seemingly smooth at most of the centres except for the slow performance of some of the officials and a few of the deployed machines.
The NDC claimed its unfortunate to state categorically and without any fear of contradiction that their opponents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have so far not acquitted themselves creditably in the conduct of the exercise in the first two weeks of Registration.
According to them, the NPP is engaged in and is prosecuting a grand agenda designed to bus persons from other areas outside the constituencies to have them registered in the four constituencies they are representing.
The NDC MPs claimed that the NPP candidates are also resorting to acts of intimidation, violence and assaulting agents and party officials at some of the centres.
The statement said, “In some of the incidents we were witnesses to, it is extremely sad that the acts of violence were perpetrated in the full glare of security or peace officers”.
The NDC MPs alleged that the police stood helpless and in a particular case, the police aided the passage of the buses carrying the strangers to the Registration Centre.
They claimed, ” this is the provision of the law that the NPP acting through its parliamentary candidates with the active support of their respective MMDCEs in our Constituencies are flouting with such impunity and disdain”.
“Almost every day of the two-week registration exercise, our officials were called to go ward off busloads of strangers being brought into a centre from either Ashaiman, Tema, Kpone, Dawa, Okere, or places outside the constituencies. Just yesterday, we had to rush to Akertebuor and Atua to ward off persons brought in from Koforidua, Ashaiman and Tema to be registered in two of our constituencies” the statement added.
They further alleged that “Anytime our agents and officials tried to protest about the presence of the busloads of transported persons, they were subjected to intimidation and assault from our opponents. At one of the Upper Manya Registration centres, cutlass wounds were inflicted on one of our party officials by a well-known NPP activist in that constituency”.
“In the Asuogyaman constituency, a person ran in the full glare of the soldiers to slap our party agent without the slightest provocation. In all these cases of assault, our members made complaints to the police and as usual, they were only issued with medical forms to go and obtain a medical report. Unfortunately, no action had so far been taken to show the extent of investigations conducted nor indications of any prosecution”.
The MPs however, are urging the Police and Security Officers to protect everybody and not only a section of the populace.
Meanwhile, the Regional Executives of the Ruling NPP have rubbished the claim made against them by the Minority Members of Parliament.
According to the NPP, the on-going Voter Registration by the Electoral Commission in the Region is proceeding smoothly without any hitches.
Also, all the COVID-19 protocols are being followed by all.
The Regional Secretary, Jeff Konadu Addo, in a reaction with DAILY GUIDE said the statement made the NDC MPs are palpable false and must not to be taken seriously.
He said the NPP has never instructed constituents to stop anybody from registering but its rather the NDC who are busing residents from Volta Region to register their names on the voter register which the community members are resisting them.
The Regional Secretary noted “, The NDC are busing people from the Island from Afram Plains because they have numbers there to Upper Manya Krobo, to win the NPP seat and because they know they will lose their seats to the NPP, they are creating unnecessary fear and panic in the region”.
He said the Regional Executives of the NPP, need not bus people outside to the region to any of the registration centres before winning that seat this time around, looking at the impeccable records of development and human-centred policies carried out by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo.
Jeff Konadu Addo noted that the residents in the entire Region are the living witnesses of the massive developmental projects going on and will vote overwhelmingly for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and their respective NPP parliamentary candidates.
He noted that the only challenge of the NDC is that they as a party are ill-prepared for the voter registration exercise, adding that it should be noted that not a single incidence has happened in the region.
Jeff Konadu added that “We in the NPP are seriously encouraging the residents in their respective constituencies to register and for sure, we will continue to do that. Its a shame that the NDC is resorting to lying and propaganda to cover their usual incompetence”.
The Regional Secretary noted that they are on the ground carrying effective monitoring to ensure that the voting public register towards the victory 2020 for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP.
– FROM Daniel Bampoe, Koforidua