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General News Sat, 10 Jan 2009

NPP supporters now refugees

Intimidated, driven out of homes for supporting NPP

Some of the ‘political refugees’ picking up balls of kenkey provided by the party at the NPP national campaign office yesterday, while others, tired, await their turn.

Reports reaching The Statesman indicate that some New Patriotic Party supporters across the country are being brutalised, chased out of their abodes and evicted by some supporters of the National Democratic Congress.

This paper was further informed that some of the victims of harassment had sought refuge at the campaign office of Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP Presidential candidate for the December election, which is located at Asylum Down, Accra. They were said to have come from Agbogloshie Market, Nima, and some of the Zongo communities in the Accra Metropolis.

A verification visit to the campaign office by The Statesman yesterday established that the 'refugees', numbering over 150, were made up of young men and women, and were being catered for by the party leadership as well as some sympathisers of the NPP.

Abdul Mohammed, one of the victims, who said he lived at the Agbobloshie Market, told this paper that shortly after John Evans Atta Mills had been sworn-in as the President, some NDC thugs in the area began to attack NPP supporters, beat them up and also destroyed their properties.

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It was gathered that most of the ‘refugees" were scrap metal dealers whose livelihood had depended on that trade for years now.

According to Mohammed, one NPP supporter was stabbed to death, maintaining that the police had been informed but no arrest had yet been made.

Asked what led to such a barbaric act, he said long before the declaration of the winner of the presidential run-off poll, some of the NDC supporters had threatened to ‘deal with’ the NPP supporters in the area.

Mohammed noted that the NDC attackers were motivated by the northern chieftaincy conflict between the Abudus and the Andanis, and therefore used politics as a smokescreen to achieve their diabolic plan.

"My brother let me tell you, no matter what I am going through, I will support the NPP.

No amount of intimidation can change my position,” he stated. Mohammed however, said the food they were being given was not enough and appealed to party sympathizers to come to their aid and to also compensate them for the destruction of their properties by the NDC thugs.

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In a related development, reports reaching this paper as at press time suggested that some NDC ‘Aluta Boys’ in Tamale had gone haywire, burning houses of some NPP supporters, causing a chaotic situation in the Metropolis and allegedly resulting in one person being wounded by gun shot. Two persons, we gathered, had been arrested.

Abdul-Samed Yahaya, NPP activist and polling station agent at the Tamale North constituency in the December polls, re-echoed the point that the mayhem could be traced to the chieftaincy conflict in the Northern Region, and not politics.

According to him, people use politics to visit atrocities on their political opponents, especially in the north, and described such behaviour as barbaric which must be done away with.

Yahaya, who is eyeing the Tamale North constituency secretaryship of the NPP, maintained that the party remained the best political group in the country, and expressed the hope that it would return to power in 2012.

Source: The Statesman