There was drama on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at the Lower Manya Krobo Constituency Office of the Electoral Commission of Ghana during the just-ended limited voter registration exercise when the deputy Constituency Communications Officer of the NDC and a member of the party were assaulted by a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)
Gabriel Matey Padi, the Deputy Communications Officer, and William Amewuda, a party member, received hefty slaps from an NPP polling station Youth Organizer for Nuaso popularly known as Seke, during a heated argument over the registration of some students of the Krobo Girls Senior High School who had been brought to undergo the registration process.
Narrating the circumstances that led to the assault on him to GhanaWeb, Gabriel Matey Padi said they were assaulted when they questioned why students of KROGISS who had been brought to the center did not join the queue like everybody else but made to leapfrog others who had been in the queue for several hours.
“Some people came here at 3 a.m. and had been in the queue for hours. Around 1 p.m., we realized that students of the Krobo Girls Senior High School had been brought [to register ahead of those in the queue], this sparked some revulsion from the people. A member of my party confronted them over this and one of the NPP boys named Seke slapped him on the face, I intervened and he slapped me too,” recounted the deputy communications officer.
He accused the ruling party of busing the students to the registration center hence he questioned their actions.
Asked if he reported the issue to the police, the aspiring assemblyman answered in the negative, adding that the attack was an orchestrated attempt by his detractors to scuttle his assembly member intentions.
Amewuda Williams, the former branch youth organizer for Yokwenor also narrating his ordeal said Seke slapped him in the face without any provocation when he agitated over the decision to leapfrog other registrants in the queue to register the students.
“They brought the first batch of the Krobo Girls [students] to register them, they brought a second batch and we questioned why the students were brought on Monday since they were given specific dates to do so…this resulted in some arguments with the NPP members and the guy slapped me in the face,” he told GhanaWeb.
The attacks resulted in a commotion at the forecourts of the EC office.
Responding to the allegations, the NPP Constituency Youth Organizer for Lower Manya Krobo, Tawiah Solomon Tetteh denied that the party was involved in transporting the students to the center and accused the NDC members of causing the fight, insisting that his party member’s reaction was an act of self-defense.
“If you’re having an argument and you push someone, aren’t you calling for a fight?” he quizzed.
“You were exchanging words with somebody and you pushed him, the moment you do this, he’ll also retaliate”, he added.
Responding to allegations of leapfrogging other registrants in the queue the Lower Manya Krobo Electoral Officer, Jonathan Okine denied the allegation, explaining that there was a special kit set up to register the students which all the political parties are aware of.
“We made special arrangements for them that they’re in the boarding school, they cannot come from the boarding school and queue…so Krobo girls, the day they came, we were having challenges with the network…we had one kit allocated to the students, so it’s not like they were jumping the queue, the town people also had their queue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NDC constituency chairman for Lower Manya Krobo, John Matey when contacted said he’d speak on the issue later.
Though the limited voter registration exercise formally ended on Monday, October 2, 2023, the exercise was extended to Tuesday, October 3, 2023, to enable the Commission to clear the backlog of some aspiring voters who could be registered during the period.
By: Kofi Adjei | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana