Dr. kwadwo Afari Gyan, EC Boss

THE ONGOING biometric registration exercise at Agya Bekwai center in the Tafo/Pankrono constituency in the Ashanti Region was brought to a halt for several hours when the Electoral Commission (EC) registration officers were heckled by thugs allegedly deployed to the center by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The thugs, numbering nine, who stormed the center on unregistered motorbikes, demanded the kits the registration officers were using for the exercise, a demand the officers refused to oblige.

The hoodlums, led by one Black Cat, a known NDC macho-man, allegedly subjected the registration officers to severe beatings, thereby halting the exercise for some hours.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) polling station chairman for the area, Akwasi Badu, who was at the center monitoring events, DAILY GUIDE gathered, was also beaten up by the thugs.

The paper was told that immediately the Buffalo Unit of the Ashanti Regional Police Command was called in to avert any bloodshed, the fully-armed hooligans vanished from the center.

After vamoosing from the center, the ruffians were said to have made a stopover at the Zongo areas of the constituency but did not cause any confusion at the centers they visited.

Sources told DAILY GUIDE that an agent of the ruling party at the center called the thugs to storm the place after his opposition to the registration of students from the Kwasi Oppong Senior High School was rejected.

The NDC agent had resisted the registration of the students but his resistance was overruled; however, determined to stop the students from registering, the agent called in the thugs to apply force to stop the students from registering.

With this in minds, the thugs, immediately after arriving at the center, started causing confusion, after which they subjected the officers to severe beatings for refusing to give them the kits.

The Tafo/Pankrono Divisional Police Commander, DSP Kwasi Ofori, confirmed the incident in an interview with DAILY GUIDE and noted that investigations were ongoing to arrest the hoodlums who stormed the center.

As part of measures to ensure that peace and tranquility would prevail in the area throughout the 40-day registration exercise, he said, he would summon the two major political parties to a meeting in his office in that regard.

The thugs, the paper gathered, have been causing similar confusion at some of the registration centers in the region and even though their identities have been confirmed, none of them has been arrested and dealt with according to the law.

It would be recalled that the NDC allegedly held a secret meeting at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to discuss how it could frustrate those registering in the region to ensure that the number would be reduced drastically in the region which is believed to be the stronghold of the NPP.

The party decided to achieve this by deploying hired macho-men riding unregistered motorbikes and driving vehicles to cause commotion at registration centers in the region so as to scare people from turning out in their numbers to register.

 From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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