Ghana’s biggest opposition party says it suspects some “powerful people” were behind a dawn invasion of the New Patriotic Party’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra.
“We are convinced that they are a gang of ruffians sent by individuals or powerful people, who want to create the impression that we have a problem within our party,” acting chairman Freddie Blay told journalists at the headquarters.
According to him, the invasion and ransacking of the office was done by “armed military men,” who also gave access to a gang of young men to vandalise the head office. He said the Police are investigating who the suspects are and who sent them.
“We understand they are being questioned about why and how and who sent them,” he said, and mentioned that: “…In our own offices, nobody has sustained injuries and we are appealing, therefore, to you the media, to let Ghanaians know that our party is at peace.”
“We are going about our organisation peacefully,” he said, adding: “Those who don’t want us to have peace will be exposed and ashamed.” The Police took over the office in the early hours of Monday following the attack by men in military fatigues.
Meanwhile, suspended chairman of the Party Mr Paul Afoko has, in a statement, condemned the invasion.
Mr Afoko said he “learnt with dismay the incidents at the party headquarters, and on the party's parliamentary candidate for the Korle Klottey constituency, Nii Noi Nortey.”
In a statement signed by spokesperson Nana Yaw Osei, Mr Afoko said he condemns in “no uncertain terms” the invasion of the party’s headquarters and attempted abduction of Mr Nortey in the early hours of Monday.
He said it was “even more worrying” for weapons to have been found at the head office and called for thorough investigations into the two incidents.
Eleven suspects have been arrested by the police in connection with the invasion.
Also, a leading member of the party, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, has said the police intervention was a tactic to divert attention from a bad weekend for President John Mahama.
Mr Otchere Darko took to Twitter to describe the whole incident as “unrepentant diversionism”.
The founder of policy think tank Danquah Institute said in the tweet: “The age of unrepentant diversionism. National Security raids opposition HQ at 1am to divert attention from a bad weekend for the President?” The NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Awutu Senya West, Mr George Andah, was at the scene to intervene.
Second National Vice Chairman Sammy Crabbe, who was also at the scene, was prevented from entering the party’s office by the police, according to Class News’ Parker Wilson. He also reported that after a few skirmishes with the police, Mr Crabbe was nearly lynched by the party’s private security, ‘Invisible Forces’. An intervention by the police saved him from being harmed.