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General News
“We Rigged 2008 Elections For NDC” Says Group…But Gov’t Calls For Their Arrest 8/21/2010

A deputy minister of Information Mr. James Agyenim Boateng has called on the police to immediately arrest the men who claim they helped the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) rigged the Tain elections in 2008.

The disgruntled supporters of the NDC re-ignited controversies that surrounded the 2008 general elections, after publicly declaring that they seized ballot boxes and manipulated the elections in the Tain constituency.

The aggrieved NDC supporters, who have since announced their defection to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), citing reasons of neglect and dejection, claimed they were used by the ruling party in the first and second rounds of the 2008 elections, to seize ballot boxes and perform a number of illegal operations across the country, with the promise that they would be offered jobs when the NDC eventually won power.

But, the supporters, who describe themselves as Buffalo Group, contend that they have been offered a raw deal by the NDC, and as such, have defected to the opposition New Patriotic Party.

Wearing red arm-bands and chanting war songs, the embittered supporters, numbering over 570, tore NDC T-shirts and destroyed other party paraphernalia in a demonstration of their anger at the government and the ruling party. They further displayed their NDC membership cards, ostensibly to authenticate their true membership, and clear all doubts concerning their association with the ruling party.

The spokesperson for the group, Alidu Ibrahim, said they felt betrayed by the government and the NDC, after risking their lives and that of their families to ensure victory for the party in the 2008 elections.

“Now when you call them, they don’t pick their phones; they only deceive us with cups of sugar and mattresses, but we are worth more than that,” he bemoaned.

The group claimed in an interview with CitiFM after holding a press conference in Kumasi that the NDC had promised to pay them after they had executed the task of stealing ballot boxes from Tain, but the ruling party has reneged on its word.

But, Mr. James Agyenim Boateng expressed shock and amazement at the “complete recklessness” of Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng, NPP’s Director of Communications, who had earlier commented on the issue. According to him, he expected Mr. Kwarteng who spoke on Citi FM to have condemned the action the group claimed they took, rather than the conclusions he drew that the NDC is well-known for intimidation tactics during elections.

The deputy information minister said that the NDC considered the act of the unknown men as a criminal offense and pleaded with the police to probe further into the matter.

“…the criminals must be arrested and brought before the court to be prosecuted,” he said.

He strenuously denied the assertions by the group who claimed that at the time of the incident they were active members of the NDC and said until proven without doubt of their identities, they are not NDC members.

“…the police must treat this matter as a criminal offense…Regardless of where the people are coming from, they should be arrested since the matter bothered on electoral fraud,” Mr. James Agyenim Boateng stressed.
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana Institute of Journalism

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