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Politics of Saturday, 21 November 2020


Election 2020: NDC supporters clash with Bolgatanga police over ‘safety’ of election materials

File photo of a police patrol vehicle File photo of a police patrol vehicle

There was pandemonium at the Bolgatanga Police Headquarters in the Upper East Region on Friday when supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) massed up at the facility to protect election materials.

The election materials to be used for the December 7, 2020, presidential and parliamentary elections arrived at the police headquarters on Friday, November 20, 2020.

Shortly after the materials arrived, NDC agents – who happened to be present at the time – insisted that the police should lock the room where the materials are being kept with a padlock.

The policemen on duty, according to GhanaWeb’s sources, explained that there was no padlock to lock the door but assured them that the materials will be safe.

However, the NDC supporters insisted that it would be wrong for the police to leave the room where the materials would be kept unlocked and threatened to sleep at the police headquarters until they are convinced that the materials will not be tampered with.

GhanaWeb sources said initially only a handful of NDC supporters were present at the headquarters when the materials arrived, but after policemen on duty revealed that the room in which the materials will be kept will not be locked, the NDC supporters contacted more of their colleagues to troop to the headquarters.

“The police people said this place [the headquarters] is a security zone, so they can’t just come and sleep here. And the NDC supporters were calling more [of their supporters] to come…It was just God; some commotion could have happened because within some few minutes over 100 NDC supporters had massed up at the headquarters,” one source narrated events to GhanaWeb.

The presence of a former Minister of Interior under an NDC administration, Mark Woyongo, at the headquarters, calmed the agitated NDC supporters.

Mr Woyongo had also been speaking to police officials over the matter and getting clarity on the cause of agitation among the NDC supporters.

The source said a police official later explained that the norm has always been to keep the door to the room holding the election materials unlocked.

The police official further explained that after a call was put through to the national headquarters in Accra, police at the Bolgatanga headquarters were asked to stand their ground and disperse the NDC supporters.

Calm was eventually restored after the angry NDC supporters were calmed by Mr Woyongo, who they know to be a respected member of the party in the Eastern Region.