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General News Fri, 22 May 2009

NPP Plans Massive Demo

Still smarting and trying to come to terms with their shock loss in last year's general elections, members and supporters of the New Patriotic Party say they have had enough of intimidation and harassment being meted out to them and other ordinary citizens and are therefore bracing themselves for a possible showdown with their counterparts in the National Democratic Congress.

Since the Prof John Atta Mills-led NDC were declared victors in last December's epic electoral battle, NDC supporters across the country have taken the law into their hands, visiting an orgy of harassment on their counterparts in the NPP.

From forcibly taking control over lorry parks, markets and public toilets, through threats of mayhem, the NDC supporters have ran riot while the security agencies have most often looked the other way.

Analysts attribute the behaviour of the NDC activists to frustration caused by the inability of the NDC to fulfill its electoral promise of providing jobs for them if it won power. Forcibly seizing control of businesses run by NPP supporters is their way of securing employment, they believe.

In their quest to embarrass members of the erstwhile Kufuor administration, even ordinary members of the public, including the managing director of Barclays Bank Ghana, Benjamin Dabrah, were forced out of their cars by alleged national security operatives and their cars driven away.

The 'fortunate' ones, including NPP 2008 flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo, had their cars seized while they were being driven by their drivers. Indeed, till date, even though a first car seized from Nana Akufo-Addo has been returned, a second, seized over a month ago is still in the custody of the national security outfit, who, apparently shamefaced by the disclosure that the NPP flag-bearer lawfully owes the vehicle, have pushed the CEPS authorities to try and save their faces by issuing statements that have been proven to be false.

The leadership of the NDC have so far looked the other way as well, despite wide condemnation of these acts of misbehaviour. Some die-hard NDC supporters have rather ratcheted up their attacks, indiscriminately attacking perceived opponents. In the face of what they describe as the continued abuse of their rights as Ghanaians to live in peace and work for a living, a youth wing of the largest opposition party, named 'NPP Footsoldiers Club' (NPPFC) say they are gearing up their loins to match their NDC opponents boot for boot if they are not brought to order.

In an interview with The Statesman, Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta, Communications Director of the group, indicated that members of NPPFC, with nationwide membership, were "more than ready" to defend the rights of every Ghanaian. "Enough is enough; we will not sit idle for NDC to maltreat our members, who are just ordinary Ghanaians any longer. We would have stood up to them a long time ago, but our leaders have been asking us to exercise restraint," he disclosed.

Richard Ofori-Atta, also known as 'Tom tom,' who has his eyes on NPP Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer position, warned that but for the tolerance of the NPP, the country could have been plunged into a state of anarchy if they (NPP) had responded to the provocative actions of the NDC supporters. "We therefore call on President Mills and the entire leadership of the NDC to call their supporters to order. Ghana needs to develop, but we cannot do so if a large section of its citizens are engaged in needless fights," he underscored.

Tomtom also charged President Mills to immediately set up a committee to investigate cases of bribery which reportedly characterized the DCE confirmation elections in some parts of the Ashanti region. On his part, Gilbert Ofosu Darko, General Secretary of the NPPFC, urged NPP foot soldiers to hit the ground and start campaigning for the 2012 elections. He said, less than six months into its mandate, the Mills administration had lost the confidence of Ghanaians due to its lackadaisical performance so far and would thus be swept out of power, according to results of a nationwide survey conducted by his outfit.

NDC government's failure to hit the ground running to fulfill its campaign promises, the poor state of the economy as well as the general lack of direction he said, has even infuriated NDC supporters "who have decided to vote for the NPP in the next polls". Ofosu Darko welcomed the proposed amendment for the expansion of the party's electoral college, urging the foot-soldiers to be active since they will have a greater say in who leads the party into the future elections if the proposal is accepted at the July 17 national congress.

Source: The Statesman