Samuel Pyne

THE ASHANTI regional chapter of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed deep worry about the acts of violence that have characterized the ongoing biometric registration exercise in the region. 

The region has witnessed countless number of violent behaviour at most of the registration centres. 

These reported cases have been blamed on macho men who stormed the centres to either scare people in the queue from registering or wrongly impede registration officers from carrying their legitimate duties. 

Samuel Pyne, the Ashanti regional secretary of the NPP told DAILY GUIDE that the party was fed up with the incidents that had marred the registration exercise. 

He said since the exercise commenced about a week ago, there had not been a single day that an act of violence perpetrated by some hired thugs was not recorded in some of the registration centres in the region. 

The regional secretary alleged that the series of violent acts that had engulfed the exercise in the region had been perpetrated by supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). 

Mr Pyne noted that the opposition party had restrained its members from responding to the attacks of the NDC for far too long and that the party could no longer continue to restrain its members.

Against this background, the regional secretary emphasized that the party they would no longer sit on the fence for its supporters to be mistreated by hired hoodlums, stressing that the party would employ every legal means to protect its supporters from imminent attacks. 

According to him, the thugs had attacked and caused varying degrees of injury to supporters of the NPP in places like Asafo, Appiadu, Abirem, Asokore Mampong, Oforikrom, Afigya Kwabre and Asawase. 

He contended that the ruling party had realized that should they succeed in reducing the number of registered voters in the region, they could retain power in the forthcoming polls due to the fact that the region is the world bank of the opposition party. 

The regional secretary alleged that the thugs stormed the centres on unregistered motorbikes and vehicles to cause mayhem. 

Mr Pyne said though the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) held a meeting with the political parties and assured them of adequate security at all the centres, the NPP was not very much convinced that the security agents would do diligent work.

Apart from the violence at some centres, the regional secretary claimed that the attitude of some of the registration officers was putting potential voters off. 

He said most of the registration officers for reasons best known to them had been arrogant and unfriendly through the way they asked the details of people and took them through the process. 

Mr Pyne pointed out that because of that negative attitude, most people visited the centres but left for their homes since they could not withstand the display of arrogance by some of the registration officers. 

The regional secretary also complained about the abuse of incumbency in the exercise by some government functionaries, indicating that some appointees were using their official vehicles to monitor the exercise in the region. 

Mr Pyne indicated that the opposition party had kept quiet all this while because it did not want to engage in violent acts but its patience was running out.

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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