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General News of Friday, 25 November 2016


Confusion hits Joy Ballot Box in Tamale

The smoothly planned event became a contest of hoots, chants, minor shoves and heckles.

It was a mixed bag of drama, tension and promises as parliamentary aspirants of the three constituencies in the Northern Region took their turn on the last edition of the Joy Ballot Box program Friday.

Some of the Parliamentary aspirants of Tamale South, Tamale Central and Sagnerigu constituencies were present at the Lamashegu Naa's Palace, venue for the Ballot Box to make last gasp promises and commitments to the electorate, many of whom were present and millions others who watched at home.

It was meant to be smooth, peaceful interaction between aspiring MPs and their constituents but it was not all that smooth.

A contest of hoots, chants, minor shoves and heckles nearly marred what has been a hugely successful program which has taken the Joy Ballot Box team round the ten regions of the country.

Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South and his NPP contender Yusif Iddrisu were easily the most popular of all the candidates present but their popularity came with its own consequences.

The MCE of Tamale, Hunan Gundado, had trumpeted the peace in Tamale and promised a peaceful election in December after which he boasted of the six markets government built for the people in order to facilitate trade in the Municipality.

Then came the Tamale South NPP parliamentary candidate Yusif Iddrisu who also promised to provide jobs for the youth in his constituency if he is elected.
He also trumpeted peace, saying he and his biggest adversary Haruna Iddrisu are somewhat related and virtually share a wall.

He resumed his seat after his promises to change the what he said is the hopelessness in the constituency.

Then came Haruna Iddrisu. His supporters all stood up in reverence brandishing his posters in support of the candidate.

But the supporters of the NPP candidate began hooting, using the change sign and shouting for change. For several minutes they will not allow, Mr Iddrisu to address the crowd, a situation that may have gotten some supporters of the NDC candidate furious.

There were shoves and heckles which interrupted the program for several minutes. After several appeals and police intervention, the program was allowed to proceed. Haruna Iddrisu spoke and resumed his seat.

Candidates of the CPP, PNC took their turn to share their aspirations to the with the crowd. Then it came to the turn of the NPP candidate of Tamale South.

Yusif Iddrisu was to have a second bite at the cherry when he took the platform to speak on education, which was the second most important issue for the constituents after jobs. But it was payback time for the NPP candidate.

The NDC supporters would also not allow him to speak. A section of the NDC supporters told the Joy FM team it was disrespectful on the part of the NPP supporters not to have allowed Haruna Iddrisu to speak and so they were also not going to allow Yusif Iddrisu to speak.

There was another round of heckles with the Northern Region Chair of the NDC Sofo Azorka mounting the podium and making a gesture at the crowd at the time the PNC candidate was speaking.

The program had to end without the constituents taking advantage of the opportunity to ask the aspirants questions.