Massive Vote-buying At Assin North

… NPP, NDC Accuse Each Other
The two largest political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are pointing accusing fingers at each other of buying votes in tomorrow’s by-election at the Assin North constituency in the Central Region.
They have been sighted in different videos and photographs either transporting different items or presenting them to constituents ostensibly to win voters to their side.
While the NPP has been seen in videos and pictures offloading truckloads of knapsack sprayers and fertilizers, with the party’s flags, the NDC, on the other hand, has also been spotted in a similar video distributing machetes and Wellington boots, among others.
The Anchor’s monitoring of the situation has revealed that the two parties, whose bigwigs stormed the constituency few days to the election to canvass for votes for their respective candidates, are sharing one item or the other.
Interestingly, neither of the two parties is ready to admit that the items being dispatched are from their camps, but, rather, are quick to accuse their opponents of vote-buying.
The first videos, accompanied by a text, were first shared allegedly on the internet by the communications officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi.
In the 56 seconds and 17 seconds videos, involving the governing party, the distributors of the consignments were led by former Food and Agriculture minister and presidential hopeful, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the national chairman, Stephen Ayesu Ntim and the general secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua, among others.
The sprayers-cum-fertilizers were said to have been sent to towns, such as Ningo, Gangan andAyittey, said to be strongholds of the opposition party in the Assin North constituency.
The two parties appear to be responding to the needs of the voters, as the constituency is predominantly a farming area, inhabited mostly by cocoa farmers.
Before this, the NPP had been accused of voting-buying, after various contractors stormed the area to construct roads, which hitherto were abandoned, per accounts of the residents, and other abandoned projects were also resurrected overnight.
An Astro-turf that was constructed for the youth to harness football talent was over the weekend commissioned by Vice President Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia in a ceremony, except that it was marred by a heavy downpour.
The NDC, on the other hand, though in opposition, is leaving no stone unturned. Earlier, the party was accused by their opponents of sharing farm implements and inputs. Also, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, the 2020 vice presidential candidate and former education minister, under former President John Mahama, presented some items to a hospital in the constituency, ahead of the election.
On Saturday June 24, the communication director of the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah, on TV3, openly accused their opponents of vote-buying.
Mr.Ahiagbah, who backed his claim with a video evidence, said the NDC is neck-deep in the act, except that he will not admit those videos coming from his quarters.
He said that, aside from the opposition party employing naked lies and falsehood against the NPP in tomorrow’s election, it is sharing the Wellington boots and machetes.
Even though time didnot allow Ahiagbah to mention some of the crude moves by the NDC, this paper is aware of claim by some communicators of the governing party, who say their opponents are campaigning.
According to him, the NDC are putting it out that the NPP wants the seat, because they want to increase their number in Parliament so they can reject the anti-gay bill currently in the august House.
He made available a video to the producers of TV3’s Key Points show on Saturday to prove a point.
The video, which was shown on the programme, hosted by Alfred Ocansey, was condemned outright, together with the NPP’s version, by the regular panelists, namely Martin Kpebu, a private legal practitioner, and Prof. Ransford Gyampo, a senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana.
Mr.Kpebu, in his remarks, said vote-buying is a crime and urged anyone that has received such items to report to the police so that, for once, perpetrators are made to face the law.
He said the status quo can only change if the citizens show that they abhor this action by the political parties by reporting them to the authorities for criminal charges.
“The situation will change if the citizens act wisely. What they should do is that those who have received these items in Assin North, some of them, at least even if three, a minimum even if one, should be bold enough to take those items to a police station and to lodge a complaint that ‘look this is what party X has given me whether NDC or NPP,’ that citizen should go make complaint on the basis that I should vote for them then we can trigger criminal prosecution. If we are not willing to report, we won’t get far,” he said.
Professor Gyampo, on his part, said citizens should know that the moment they take these tokens from politicians, it means they have sold their right to demand development from these politicians.
He said, often, these politicians go for loans and other things for these campaign goodies, and so after winning, they try to settle or recoup moneys waste, so until they are done paying these debts, they will not come to their aid.
“Voters must appreciate that they are worth more than the 10 Cedis and five kilograms rice and T-shirt that are distributed to them,” Prof.Gyampo reminded the voters.
Tomorrow’s by-election is being contested by the NPP’s Charles Opoku, NDC’s James Joe Gyakye Quayson and from Kofi Akpaloo’s Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Bernice Enyonam Sefenu. Mr.Quayson, until recently was the Member of Parliament (MP).
But his 2020 election victory was quashed by the Supreme Court, hence the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC),for the by-election, slated for tomorrow.


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