General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Political tension has reached boiling point in Winneba, the nerve centre of the Efutu constituency in the Central Region and the police have called for reinforcement to avert further bloody clashes between members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The uneasy calm reaches day three today and may degenerate after the NPP parliamentary candidate for the area, Alex Afenyo Markin, was on Monday allegedly assaulted by operatives of the NDC, who tore his trousers.
The Winneba Municipal Police Commander, Martin Asamoah, yesterday, confirmed that his outfit had arrested some persons believed to be members of the NDC who were armed with machetes and had besieged an NPP mini rally organised by Mr Markin.
The arrested persons were said to have been part of a larger group which drove in an NDC-branded campaign vehicle to a place called Akosua Village and started hurling stones at unarmed NPP members who were attending the rally.
DSP Asamoah said two armed persons were grabbed.
The police have since deployed more personnel who are patrolling potential flashpoints in the constituency.
Meanwhile, reports said some ten persons sustained various degrees of injury during the free-for-all that followed Mr. Markin’s assault.
The Efutu Constituency Youth Organiser of the NDC, Michael Abeiku Nyarko, who was reported to have led the assault on Mr. Markin, has told Joy News why he took the law into his hands.
According to him, Mr. Markin had peddled some alleged falsehood during a radio interview on Monday so he, the NDC Youth Organiser, confronted Markin after the interview and warned him to desist from repeating the said falsehood.
Mr Nyarko, also the Assembly Member for Alata Kokoado Electoral area, confronted Mr. Markin and warned him firmly to stop his public claims of having brought some development to the electoral area.
Mr Nyarko alleged that Mr. Markin slapped him and when he was about to retaliate, onlookers stepped in and restrained him.
“He went to sit in his car and then the people were giving him fans for slapping me [sic]. He was telling me that he had slapped me and the next time I play the fool, he would slap me again,” Mr. Nyarko narrated to Joy News.
He said soon after that incident, they met again and he had wanted to also slap Mr. Markin but some observers intervened.
The NDC parliamentary candidate for the constituency is the incumbent and Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Mike Allen Hammah.
On his part, Mr Markin explained to DAILY GUIDE that he was surprised at the level of lawlessness being exhibited by his political opponents.
“I am surprised where they get their power from to do the type of things they do especially when we are not in a lawless society.
“The guy just walked straight to me and warned me never to talk on radio again, else they would deal with me but I ignored him and took it as a useless threat so I asked him not to get overly antagonistic simply because we belong to different parties.
“But he started to assault me. He hit my chest, slapped me, pushed me onto the street and two others also joined the assault until some people came to my rescue and eventually I was rescued having a swollen face and bruises. I reported to the police and went to the hospital for treatment,” Markin explained.
Indeed, scores of NPP supporters rushed to the Winneba Government Hospital on hearing that their candidate had gone there for treatment after the assault.
Markin said the NDC youth organizer also later reported the matter at the same police station that he had been assaulted where he was also issued with a medical form.
He alleged that the incident was not the first of its kind and further accused the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Nii Ephraim, of being behind the incident and wondered why the MCE should rush to the police station to appeal to the police to arrest the two of them for disturbing public peace when it was clear that the NDC instigated the attack.
The police had to step in to prevent the break down of law and order.