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Politics Thu, 24 Jan 2008

NPP's Terror Tactics At Peoples Assembly

The Ordeal Of An Evangelist

At the previous People's Assembly held in Sunyani last year, supporters of the NPP government brutally assaulted Evangelist Oppong Daniel and Dr Asem Foforo. Last week's People's Assembly saw Dr Asem Foforo narrowly missing another round of beating on the Assembly grounds thanks to the fact that the police whisked him away from the grounds and took him straight to the station to board a bus to Accra. Asem Foforo could not entirely escape because eventually when he reached his destination in Accra, he found himself being assaulted by some NPP supporters who were mad at him for having the boldness to make the submissions he made at the Takoradi People's Assembly. He had subsequently been interviewed on some radio stations where he narrated his woes. The story of Evangelist Oppong Daniel was an entirely different nightmare.

Narrating his ordeal to The Lens, the Man of God said his troubles began even long before President Kufuor arrived to kick start the program. According to him, supporters of the NPP including some NPP serial callers who spotted him walked over to him and told him plainly that they will not allow him to make any submission because he disgraced the president at the previous year's Assembly. These intolerant NPP supporters went ahead to place some plastic chairs to block him from coming out. They also made sure the microphone was taken far away from where he was seated.

"I struggled to come out and went towards the dais where the NPP Ministers were seated and introduced myself as Evangelist Oppong Daniel who last year suffered brutalities in the hands of NPP supporters," he said.

He complained to the ministers about how supporters of the NPP were harassing him and had vowed not to let him ask any question. He mentioned some of the officials who listened to him as Gladys Asmah, Adjei Darko and Frank Agyekum. "I went up to the dais to complain a second time when I realized that nothing had been done about my prior complaint," he said.

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After this, the officials on the dais sent down a couple of body guards who came and asked his hecklers to stop their acts of harassment. But he said that unknown to him, instructions had also been given to the police to make sure that he was taken out of the hall and prevented from coming up to ask any questions. Not long after that, evangelist Oppong said that two policemen came to him and led him out amidst his protestations. They took him out and handed him over to another set of three policemen with strict instructions not to let him back into the hall under any condition.

Journalists working with Takoradi based Sky Fm who witnessed the action of the police, went over to ask the three policemen why they were preventing the evangelist from entering the hall. The terse answer they got was the following: "We are under instructions from above."

Evangelist Oppong mentioned that another group of journalists who saw the heckling by the police were technicians working with Accra based Joy Fm and cameramen of TV and Metro TV. When the policemen realized that Metro TV was about to capture him on their cameras, they swiftly prevented the metro cameraman and whisked the evangelist away from the scene.

"For the next two hours lasting through the entire duration of the President's speech, I was kept out of the hall. It was only when the policemen were a little distracted at the time long queues started being formed after the President's speech, that I was able to sneak away and went back into the hall," Evangelist Oppong Daniel narrated.

He managed to join the queue. But before he could realize, four aggressive looking policemen came to him and this time literally carried him out of the hall to the shock of onlookers.

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This time around, they made sure they handed him to a security man in khaki whom they ordered to make sure he got him out of the gates completely. "He dutifully took him and handed him to some community policemen at the gate and ordered them not to let me in," he said.

Evangelist Oppong Daniel who subsequently narrated his nightmarish experience in different interviews on Space Fm in Sunyani, Kess Fm, Melody Fm and Sky Fm in Takoradi, said he had an urgent message from God to deliver at the Assembly.

He said he had been asked to remind the government and the country that in the year 2001, over a hundred people died at the Accra Sports Stadium because of Kotoko and Hearts were fighting over three points. He said, before that match, on May 9, Kotoko had asked for a foreign referee to officiate the match and Hearts also made a number of complaints. But these were dismissed by lots of people who said that Ghana was too peaceful a nation to experience any troubles as a result of a football match.

"We were all witnesses to the tragedy that befell us. If three points could lead to such a tragedy, how much more this critically important election?" he queried.

The government, he said must not be lured into complacency by listening to people who are proclaiming that Ghanaians are too peaceful and cannot resort to violence if there are serious manipulations in the elections.

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"The ruling government must do everything possible to ensure a free, fair and transparent election, in order to help keep the cohesion and peace of the nation," he said.

He said the Lord asked him to let the nation ponder over Jeremiah, 48: 11-12 and 16.

He pleaded that his message be taken seriously otherwise while people are saying peace and peace, sudden destruction might visit the nation.

Moslems Decry Akuffo Addo's Show Of Disrespect

As Imams Condemn The Hypocrisy Of Chiefs Who Went To Pledge Support To Him Lens Monitoring Desk Report, " Who does he think our chiefs are? He treats other chiefs with respect by going to pay courtesy calls on them but sits in his house for our chiefs to come and pay visit to him. "

This is the widespread sentiment picked up by scouts of the Lens across many Zongo communities in Accra. The Moslem faithfuls are also very angry against the group of mostly Nima based elders, who allowed one Alhaji Issah to mislead them to go and pledge support to the NPP candidate. The angry sentiments among the Moslem faithfuls are so rife that during last Friday's prayers, some of the Imams openly condemned the action of the so called Moslem chiefs, describing it as self serving and deceptive.

An interaction with some elders in various Zongo communities reveals that a lot of them are still very wary of Nana Akuffo because they remember vividly that it was his father Edward Akuffo Addo, who as President in the second republic, signed the infamous Aliens' Compliance order.

"Maybe Akuffo Addo thinks we have forgotten the trauma his father made us suffer during the second republic."

The total disrespect shown to Veep Aliu Mahama by the NPP is another major issue that is fuelling the anger of especially the young folks in the Zongo communities.

They contend that the NPP thinks that Moslems are fools. "When they need votes, they come and deceive us by appointing one of us as running mate but when it comes to succession, they quickly dump us." They vowed that this time around they will not let themselves be taken for fools again by the NPP hierarchy. "If our Aliu Mahama is not good enough to succeed Kufuor after being Vice President for two terms, why are they then frantically looking for another Moslem to be their running mate?" they asked angrily.

Source: Lens