4 injured in Ekumfi in post-election violence

The burnt pick up belonging to ndc.Four people have sustained gunshot wounds, and some property destroyed in the Ekumfi Constituency of the Central Region, following series of post-election violence between supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The victims are said to be supporters of the Member of Parliament (MP) elect, Kingsley Ato Cudjoe of the NPP.

The glass windows of the residence of the defeated incumbent MP, Abeiku Crentsil, of the NDC, have been destroyed, and vehicle belonging to the NDC has been burnt.

The series of clashes started after the declaration of the MP-elect as the winner of Wednesday’s election. The incumbent requested for a recount of the ballot.

Mr. Cudjoe, an accountant, snatched the Ekumfi seat from the NDC with 12,217votes for the first time since 24 years after the party had lost all the bid to represent the constituency in all previous elections organised in the Fourth Republic.

ASP Sebastian Kofi Maya, the Mankessim Police Commander, said the NPP supporters were on their way to Essakyir from Otuam on Sunday around 5pm.

He said when they reached Ekumfi Junction near the residence of the incumbent MP, shots were fired at them and suspecting that supporters of the defeated party were responsible for the gunshots, the NPP supporters raised the alarm for more of their colleagues to join them.

ASP Maya said they proceeded to the residence of the MP and destroyed the windows of the residence, and that police personnel from the Regional Command and Military personnel from Takoradi were asked to help calm the situation.

He said four persons, who claimed they suffered gunshot wounds, lodged a complaint at the police station, and were issued with police medical form, and were expected to return and assist the police in investigation, but no arrest has been made yet.

Both NPP and NDC officials on Monday held separate news conferences to explain their sides of the incident, and accused each other of being the cause of the series of clashes that has marred the peaceful election.

According to the NPP, the NDC after the Electoral Commission (EC) had asked them to use the due process to get the ballots recounted, tried to take the law into their own hands, when the EC decided to transport the ballot papers to the Office of the Mankessim Divisional Police Commander.

Aside from accusation that NDC attacked its polling agents and supporters, it also accused the NDC of attacking the EC officials transporting the ballot papers, who raised the alarm for residents of the towns to come to their rescue leading to the clash and the burning of the pick-up belonging to the NDC.

The NPP did not understand why the results of the election were counted and signed by both parties after which the incumbent granted media interviews congratulating the MP-elect only for the incumbent MP to return to the EC office after 24 hours to ask for recount.

The NDC supporters on the other hand, said they were only requesting a recount of the ballots after it had established that there were irregularities, which had led to the defeat of the incumbent MP.

When contacted, the EC officer for the district declined to comment on the issue saying he had lodged a formal complaint with the police.

 

From Jonathan Donkor, Ekumfi Essakyir

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