You are here: HomeNewsPolitics2012 12 20Article 260038

Politics of Thursday, 20 December 2012

Source: The Herald

“Allow Us To Steal Some Votes” -Kumasi NPP Cries

....As Otumfuor Snubs Them

Supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday embarked on one of the most ridiculous demonstrations in the nation’s history as they hit the streets of Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, protesting against what they called discrimination against residents of the region by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the just ended general elections.

According to the NPP, while voters in the region were only allowed to cast ballots after being identified by a voter verification machine, voting in other parts of the country went on without verification when the machines broke down. This, the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman Fredrick Fredua Antoh, said was an act of discrimination.

The Ashanti Region which is the powerhouse of the NPP, has been recording 120 percent of voter turnout in some key constituencies such as Bantama, Manhyia, Suame, Oforikrom, Nhyiaeso and Subin within the Kumasi metropolis until the introduction of the Biometric Verification at this year’s election, with voter turnout and valid votes cast making mathematical sense.

For instance, during the 2008 runoff between then candidate Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP, the Ashanti Region recorded the highest percentage turnout of 83.31pecent in the country with 74.99 percent going to the NPP president candidate.

Indeed, there were near blows between NPP officials led by Kwabena Agyapong and NDC officials made up of Dr. Tony Aidoo, Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, the late Squadron Leader Clend Sowu and Kofi Portuphy in the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) Strong Room at the time over the shocking numbers that were trickling in from Bantama, Manhyia, Suame, Oforikrom, Nhyiaeso and Subin constituencies for the NPP.

Mr. Isaac Kofi Asumani, who was the Ashanti Regional Director for the EC, was later accused of being in collusion with the NPP to soar up the votes from the Ashanti in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo. He was later moved to the EC’s headquarters in Accra, and made Director of Elections.

The NPP at yesterday’s demonstration wanted to petition Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II against the Electoral Commission to the climax the protest, but that did not materialize as the occupant of the Golden Stool, through a source announced that “the Asantehene is above such politics and will not involve himself in such activities”.

The protestors declared the flagbearer of Nana Addo, winner of the just ended 2012 polls, saying the declaration of incumbent President John Mahama winner of the 2012 polls by the EC was wrong.

Nana Addo who was billed to address the crowed, did not show up unlike the Obroa Spot gathering at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra. Party Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu-Efriyie addressed them.

The NPP supporters claimed that voters in the region were subjected to strict verification procedure during the voting by the EC officials but voters in other regions were allowed to vote without going through the verification process.

Speaking to Luv News’, Erastus Asare Donkor said some of the protesters said Nana Akufo-Addo had been robbed.

“What even annoyed our supporters is that we had protested to Afari Gyan that we had detected some malfeasance in the figures.

“He had 72 hours within which to declare but within 12 hours he had come out with the declaration,” one of the protestors said.

“This demonstration means a lot to us. We expect the Peace Council. The Electoral Commission to do the right thing and the right thing is to declare Nana Addo winner of this election,” another said.

In their party paraphernalia, the NPP supporters in their thousands chanted as they marched across the streets of Kumasi.

Asare Donkor said the leaders of the demonstration abandoned their earlier decision to petition the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Electoral Commission because the supporters wanted to follow them in presenting the petition which is contrary to the agreement reached with the police.

They had agreed to go alone to present the petition.

Having aborted the decision to present a petition, the supporters converged at the Abbey Park, where they were addressed by the National Executives.