The much agitated Asokwa constituency elections by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) turned bloody in the early hours of Sunday as some nearly disenfranchised delegates took to machetes, sticks and stones to protest what they termed as ‘an attempted ploy to deny them their voting rights’.
It took the timely intervention of the few policemen who were present at Salisberg Hotel, the venue for the elections, to prevent more people from being maimed at the missile throwing expedition at the grounds.
Even with the reinforcement that was called in by the Police during the fisticuffs and stone throwing by the agitated delegates, the gates to the venue was forcefully broken into whilst the Police looked on helplessly.
Speaking to GO at the grounds some few hours after the incident, one anonymous delegate said there were orchestrations by the supervising party officials to deny them entry after unsuccessfully trying to delete some of the names from the delegates list.
According to our eyewitness delegate, they had heard of plans by some party officials to deny those perceived to be against their favourite candidate entry to the venue.
This plan, he disclosed was to reduce the number of votes their favourite candidate, Marvin Agyei who was contesting for the chairmanship, would get at the polls since the officials feel he is young and may seek to challenge them for future regional positions.
And true to their worst fears, the eyewitness said instead of mentioning all the 21 electoral areas for the commencement of the polls, only eleven (11) were called out by party officials just to favour one Kassim Agyei, the other contender.
According to him, this generated the heat as the unmentioned delegate sensed danger that they may be left out of the process and therefore, they protested using every weapon or item they could lay hands on.
The Electoral Officials were said to have run for cover as the free stone throwing was extended to the portions they had planned to mount their tents before voting could commence.
The place during this time had become chaotic that not even the calls by the former deputy Ashanti Regional Minister could calm down tempers which had risen beyond crescendo.
At exactly 1pm when GO was leaving the scene of the ‘NDC Asokwa hit-maker election grounds’, the acting secretary, Raymond Tandoh and former MP for Asokwa, Ishmael Butler had calmed down the delegates and voting was proceeding quietly.
Speaking on phone later, the acting regional secretary said the initial hiccups though regrettable had been resolved.
According to him, the party has become so attractive that contesting candidates and their supporters feel they have to win at all cost to represent the party in various capacities so they can continue the better Ghana Agenda.