General News of Friday, 15 March 2002
MR Dominc Aduna Bingab Nitiwul yesterday won the Bimbilla by-election on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). He collected 58% of the votes. Preliminary results
At the Traditional Council “A” and “B” polling stations, 358 people out of the estimated number of 1,485 voters had cast their votes by 9.50 a.m., while at the L/A Primary School polling station where the Regent of Bimbilla, Vo-Na Abarika Attah, voted at 8 a.m., 70 voters out of 643 had cast their votes. As of 1 pm, no major incident had been recorded, as the electorate exercised their franchise in a very peaceful manner, with polling agents and security personnel monitoring proceedings.
The confusion began when some NPP youth, led by someone known only as Habib, allegedly attempted to prevent some voters they suspected to have cast their votes, earlier at Bimbilla from voting at the Kpaturi polling station. However, the people insisted on voting, since according to them, they never voted at Bimbilla, as Habib and his colleagues had alleged.
An argument then ensued between the NPP and the NDC group during which they hurled stones at each other. In the process, Andani was hit on the back of his head with a stick. But for the timely intervention of the security personnel there would have been more casualties.
No arrest has been made.
Meanwhile, calm has been restored and the people who were prevented from voting were later allowed to vote. The District Security Council has held a meeting with all political leaders to discuss the problem.
The presence of the 241 police personnel under the command of Superintendent Mohammed Adams and a detachment of the military have helped to avert any major disturbance.
“So far, everything has been peaceful, we have not encountered any major security threat at the polling stations”, Superintendent Adams said. On the issue of voter transfer, the District Electoral Officer, Mr Francis Worlanyo, explained that during by-elections, voters are not allowed to transfer their votes.
He expressed concern over reported cases of some party functionaries openly giving money to the electorate to vote for their candidates and vehicles which have party symbols posted on them.
While voting was going on, party vehicles were seen traversing the length and breadth of the constituency, monitoring proceedings at the various polling stations.
Among the large number of party functionaries in the constituency, were the Presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), Mr Dan Lartey, Dr Edward Mahama of the PNC, the General Secretary of the NPP and NDC, Mr Dan Botwe and Alhaji Huudu Yahaya respectively. Also present were former and sitting ministers of state, members of parliament and district chief executives.