NDC Hits The Street Again … But EC punches holes in their tales From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
Supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) went bonkers on the streets of Kumasi yesterday, burning lorry tyres and attempting to obstruct the free flow of traffic in the Garden City.
The burning of the lorry tyres resulted in a thick cloud of smoke that engulfed the skies of Asem and Fante New Town – all suburbs of Kumasi – where the demonstration took place.
But for the timely intervention of the police and military a different story would have been told, as the supporters had piled up more lorry tyres ready to set them on fire in the middle of roads in the area, including the one leading to the Zongo Police Station.
An eye witness told The Chronicle that before the arrival of the police and military personnel, bystanders who attempted to stop the protesting NDC supporters were heckled.
When this reporter later visited the area, it was discovered that the situation had been brought under control, with armed security men patrolling the enclave to ensure peace.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Kwame Zu, has told a meeting of journalists in Kumasi that the party supporters had the right to demonstrate in accordance with the dictates of the constitution.
“We have the right to demonstrate and register our displeasure. What we have observed is the use of state security to intimidate our people. That we shall not countenance,” he said at the meeting.
According to him, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Jean Mensa, and President Nana Akufo-Addo should do the ‘right thing,’ and until that is done, they shall not rest but continue to demonstrate on the streets.
“This is just the beginning; we shall continue until the right things are done,” he said.
Kwame Zu argued that peace was a product of justice, and all that the NDC was demanding is justice.
Meanwhile the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reports that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) preliminary investigation into vote-rigging for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had proven to be unfounded.
The leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had alleged at a presser that the elections were marred by anomalies, including vote padding, over-voting, and errors in the tabulation, which favoured the NPP candidate.
However, a highly placed source at the EC told the Ghana News Agency that no official report had been lodged at the Commission concerning the allegations.
The source explained that the supposed Sunyani West (Bono) SDA Primary School, Chiraa 1 Polling Station, initially had a total of 49 voters, however, the register was later updated to 610.
The Commission duly notified the political parties and also served them with the updated register before the election.
The EC official said their checks indicated that allegations of vote padding in the Ejisu, Atwima Kwanwoma, Akrofuom, Atwima Nwabiagya North, Manhyia North, and Gushegu constituencies were untrue.
“It is sad for the NDC to accuse the Commission of issuing out stamped ballots to the New Patriotic Party ahead of the elections. It is not possible for us to do that, because we carried along all stakeholders every step on the way, from the voters registration to the declaration of results,” the source said.
The source said all the temporary and permanent officers of the Commission were given a strict code of conduct and cautioned that punitive actions would apply if found culpable of any offence.
“For example, if an allegation of over-voting is proven to be true at a polling station, the Presiding Officer will be required to provide answers to the police and the court on how that happened and why the fellow should not be punished,” the source said.