Agitated supporters being restrained

THE NATIONAL Youth Delegates? Congress of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ended in confusion on Saturday as some blood-thirsty delegates and party activists who claimed Abigail Elorm A. Mensah, their preferred candidate for the second deputy youth organiser position, had been cheated, chased away the EC officials asthey (officials) were about to declare the results of the polls.

Counting of ballots had been completed and the EC officials were about to announce the official results when suddenly, Abigail Mensah?s incensed supporters, who suspected that their candidate had been cheated in the process, violently disrupted the exercise, which until that time had been peaceful.

As at yesterday there was no official declaration of the results because of the confusion.

The provisional results showed that Siddi Abubakar, perceived as the preferred choice of President John Mahama, had easily won the national youth organiser position with 382 valid votes as against incumbent Ludwig Hlodze?s 192 votes. Ludwig was a presidential aide to the late President John Evans Atta Mills. He was yanked off by President Mahama after the demise of Mills.

Nuredeen Kobina Essel reportedly took the first deputy youth organiser position with over 500 votes and in the second deputy youth organiser race, which created the trouble, James Kofi Fonu Kpatapah, the incumbent, garnered 325 valid votes as against Abigail Mensah?s 319 votes.

Tables and chairs were seen flying at the Youth Centre at Ahinsan, venue of the elections, as the panic-stricken EC staff and NDC gurus like Ken Dzirasah, Chairman of the party?s Election Committee and Baba Jamal, MC for the occasion, were taken away by armed policemen for fear of being beaten by the NDC thugs.

Baba Jamal Accused

The angry-looking Abigail Mensah supporters then seized the ballot boxes which were stuffed with ballot papers as they sang war songs, hurled insults, insinuations and curses at the party gurus, notably, Baba Jamal, whom they accused of conniving with the EC staff to rig the polls in favour of Fonu Kpatapah.

The confusion started when Baba Jamal announced that Abigail?s request for a re-count of ballot would not be permitted.

He argued that the ballots were well counted therefore it was not necessary to count them again.

Anger

Agitated supporters being restrained
Agitated supporters being restrained

This infuriated the supporters of Abigail and so they dashed to the dais where the EC officials, surrounded by party gurus, were about to declare the results.

The angry NDC supporters threatened that blood would flow, should the EC go ahead and declare the results.

They started hitting the high table and even heckled Baba Jamal who by then was visibly shaken.

The angry party supporters openly insulted Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, accusing him of trying to deny Abigail of a well-deserved victory. But surprisingly, Baba Jamal, a fire brand, looked on quietly.

They stated that if the re-counting would not be allowed then they would also not allow the EC to declare the outcome of the poll.

There was total confusion at the venue as the policemen tried in vain to calm down the aggrieved supporters.

Re-counting Accepted

After hours of heated debate which was characterised by exchange of blows, pushing and insults, Ken Dzirasah, who was filled with fright and panting for breath, announced that Abigail?s request for a re-count had finally been accepted so the people should sit down for the process to continue.

Fonu?s Group

At that moment, Fonu Kpatapah?s group, which had hitherto remained silent, also registered their strong protest against the EC?s decision to re-count the ballot, arguing that their candidate had won fairly so they would not allow the re-count.

Blows

This development set the stage for what looked like a free-for-all brawl between Abigail and Fonu?s supporters, creating a total chaos at the venue for hours.

But for the huge number of armed policemen present, the place would have been turned into a boxing arena. The party members were so incensed that nothing could stop them.

The leadership of the party, sensing danger, at a point called Abigail to the high table in a desperate attempt to persuade her to accept the results to be declared to save the NDC from humiliation.

But before Abigail could take a decision, her supporters rushed to the dais and warned her that any attempt by her to acquiesce in the EC?s quest to declare the polls would result in an attack on her life.

Confusion

Ken Dzirasah, who looked confused, ordered that if the crowd would not sit down for the exercise to continue then the EC should declare the results so that any aggrieved party could take the matter up, perhaps, to a law court.

This statement seemed to have infuriated Abigail?s supporters the more as they started chanting war songs and threatening to physically attack the EC officials if they dared try to declare the results.

They followed their threat by pushing the high table violently, and sending a strong warning to the party leadership not to allow the EC to declare the polls.

EC Chased Away

At that moment the EC staff present and the NDC gurus, including Ken Dzirasah and Baba Jamal, sensing danger, left the election venue in disappointment as the crowd continued to chant war songs.

?If you will not allow the EC to declare the results of the elections then we are going,? Ken Dzirasah, who was looking very worried, left the venue amid tight police security.

Ballot Boxes Seized

Some EC officials who tried taking away the ballot boxes, stuffed with the ballot papers, were prevented in a violent manner?by the war-like Abigail supporters. They heckled the EC staff before snatching the ballot boxes.

Women Organiser

In the women?s Organiser race held in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, Hajia Zainab Joyce Mahama was elected the new national women organiser, replacing Anita De Sooso. The 52-year-old teacher polled 314 out of the 580 votes.

Her two other contenders?Hajia Mariam Sinare and Margret Chira-Vera?garnered 178 and 78 votes respectively.

Hajia Zainab Joyce Mahama was deputy to Anita, who has filed for a vice chairperson position to be held on December 20, 2014 in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.

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