Kumasi boils ahead of Friday’s election

The two front-runner parties have intensified their attacks on each other in the last week of the running, raising the political temperature in the country.

The tension has been especially palpable in Kumasi, a traditionally hotbed of Ghanaian politics, where our correspondent says the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has overtaken the dominant New patriotic Party (NPP) in media adverts and logistics.

More significant in rising the temperature in the region has been the mushrooming of groups supporting the NDC in the region, triggering questions about how these groups and activities are funded.

Recent incidents of attacks between the two parties have triggered some fear of possible civil strife. A shooting incident at Abirem, near Ashtown, last Friday resulted in two persons sustaining various degrees of injuries, a situation which has heightened tension.

The Manhyia Member of Parliament (MP), who was near the crime scene, was arrested by the Regional Police Command and later granted bail on suspicion that supporters who were accompanying him at the time of the crime were responsible for the shooting.

But Dr Opoku-Prempeh had come out to allege that the whole incident was a plot mapped out to eliminate him with the knowledge of the police, adding it was the plan of his detractors to shoot him.

He also alleged that some NDC supporters had besieged the premises of Angel FM last Thursday to beat the NPP candidate for Bantama when he was on air, but were prevented from doing so by the police.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), meanwhile, has also called on the police to investigate text messages containing apparent death threats that it alleged was from the Manyhia MP to the Food and Drugs Board Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephen Opuni.

Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC, who made the allegation, warned that if the matter was not dealt with, it would compromise the safety of Ghanaians during the up-coming elections.

The text message, as read by Mr Asiedu Nketia in Kumasi, contained more allegations and threats to life and property.

Dr. Opoku-Prempeh’s lawyer, Nana Yaw Osei, admitted that the text messages were sent by his client, but indicated that his client was only responding to an alleged attempt on his life by Dr Stephen Opuni.

He again alleged that Dr Opuni participated in a clandestine meeting to discuss the assassination of Dr Opoku-Prempeh four months ago.

The 2008 election also saw tensions of a different kind in the Ashanti region where some non-indigenes of the region endured intimidation and insult for their perceived support for the NDC.

Comparatively, this year’s pre-election period had witnessed an appreciable period level of civility in the region, which had been relatively calm until the recent incidents.

Ironically, however, it appears that the free mixing of supporters of the way for clashes, as the incident involving the Manhyia MP reportedly occurred when he was on a door-to-door campaign.

Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, has also hosted more than its fair share of political meetings this year, the latest being the singing by the 2012 presidential candidates of the Kumasi Declaration. (The Finder)

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