MILITARY RAID NPP OFFICE
By: Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
The Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was filled with tension and anxiety, when a team of heavily armed military personnel reportedly embarked on patrol in the area.
The military officers, wielding rifles, reportedly patrolled the premises of the party’s regional office at Bantama, after news broke out that some supporters of the opposition party were planning to embark on a demonstration to protest against the arrest of the Assin North MP, Kennedy Agyapong.
A crowd of supporters of the party, wearing arm bands and beating drums, converged at the regional office of the party, and attempted to march through the principal streets to register their displeasure at the arrest of the firebrand NPP legislator.
The planned demonstration was, however, interrupted, when the heavily armed military officers stormed the premises.
Though it was not immediately known the reason behind the unusual patrol of the party’s office area by the soldiers, close sources indicate that the officers were deployed to quell any possible disturbances, especially, when news broke out that the supporters had converged at the party’s regional headquarters.
In spite of the apparent threats from the military, the enraged supporters insisted that they would embark on the protest until they were convinced by both the Regional Secretary and the Regional Organiser of the party, Sam Pyne and Kennedy Kankam respectively, to boycott their action, in order to avert any possible disturbances.
The two regional executives notwithstanding, however, went through difficulties before being able to convince the supporters to back down on the protest, as they were ready to defy all odds and embark on the street protest.
Some of the supporters who spoke to The Chronicle said they were ready to confront security personnel in the city and damn the consequences, had they been allowed to carry out their action.
The Regional Secretary, Sam Pyne, noted that the party respects the rules and regulations governing this country, stressing that the party wants to protect the peace and safety of its members, hence the decision to halt the demonstration.
According to him, since the ruling party was desperately looking for scapegoats to blame in the face of their own inaccuracies, it was very important for the NPP to refrain from acts that would create an enabling environment for them to prosecute their agenda.
He explained that once the party had not officially notified the police and other security agencies, or obtained permit from them, the police could use that as an excuse to arrest any party member who embarks on a protest.
The Regional Youth Organiser, Kennedy Kankam, however, condemned the military presence at the party’s headquarters, describing it as unnecessary and paranoia on the part of the ruling party.
He, therefore, cautioned the security to desist from what he termed selective and indiscriminate arrest, and perform their duties as professionals.
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