The alleged abuse of incumbency purportedly exhibited by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) when President John Dramani Mahama visited the Sekondi Zongo in the Western Region last Thursday assumed the highest proportion.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that while the President – who doubles as 2016 presidential candidate of the party – was interacting with the Zongo chiefs, some activists of the ruling party stormed the region’s NPP ‘Zongo for Change’ office in the area and ordered for its closure because the president was in the vicinity.
Residents in the area asserted that some supporters of the NDC in the company of some security personnel, demanded that the NPP office should be closed until the president had left the area.
The NDC activists also ordered that a pickup which was embossed with the photographs of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-addo and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, which was parked far away from where the president was, be moved away.
The people indicated that the only reason given by the party activists for their action bordered on security. However, the NPP office was far away from where the president was meeting with the Zongo chiefs.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the few NPP supporters who were around at the time of the incident attempted to resist the NDC activists, but were overpowered and so the office was eventually closed until President Mahama finished his meeting with the chiefs.
Eyewitnesses pointed out that if the NPP activists in the Zongo community were to be at the office in their numbers at the time of the incident, the situation would have been disgusting.
Confirming the story in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Labib Ali, Western Regional Coordinator of ‘NPP Zongo for Change,’ claimed that on that fateful day he was at the office when he saw his own brother, Alhaji Sanusi, an NDC activist, together with some people, claimed to be personnel of the national security, approaching.
“They came straight to me and asked me to move the NPP pickup away from where it was parked, which was even far away from where the president was. Their reason was that the president did not want to see any NPP vehicle in the area,” Labib Ali narrated.
According to him, his brother told him that if he (Ali) wanted peace, he should see to it that the vehicle was moved away else he (Alhaji Sanusi) would bring a towing van to tow the vehicle from the vicinity.
Ali pointed out that he later received calls from some executive members of the NPP in Sekondi asking him to comply with the instructions by the NDC to forestall any conflict.
“So I decided to call the driver to come and move the vehicle away. Unfortunately, I called the driver about 13 times but he did not pick my calls, so I left the area.”
“Some minutes later, I had a call that I should rush to the office and when I got there, I saw my brother and the security personnel forcefully closing the office,” he averred.
Ali told DAILY GUIDE that he explained to the security men that the driver was not picking his calls and so he, together with one Saliu Ahmed, tried to prevent the NDC activists from closing the NPP office but they were overpowered.
An ardent supporter of the NPP at Sekondi Zongo, popularly known as Sansiro, attributed the incident partly to the fact that the NDC had realized that the NPP was making inroads at the Sekondi Zongo.
He stressed that the era when the NDC used some Muslim youth to cause mayhem in certain communities was past and that the youth had resolved to support the NPP and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
“Sekondi has been the stronghold of the NPP, and so we the Muslims are working hard to increase the votes and also win massively in all the Zongo communities to ensure that Nana Addo becomes the next president and Dr Bawumia the vice president,” he added.
When DAILY GUIDE contacted Alhaji Sanusi, who claimed to be a regional executive member of the NDC and the elder brother of Ali, he indicated that the NDC had to close the NPP office for security reason.
According to him, since there were lots of NDC supporters in the area when the president visited Sekondi, it was prudent for the NPP vehicle to be moved away and get the office closed because the NDC activists could have vandalized the vehicle and things at the office.
“Oh this is no issue, Labib Ali is my brother and so looking at the crowd that gathered at the area, we wanted to protect the NPP office and the vehicle,” he told DAILY GUIDE.
Later in the evening of Thursday, the president addressed supporters of the NDC at the Sekondi main lorry park where he told Ghanaians that he had done his best for the country by executing numerous infrastructural projects.