Farouk Mahama Not Candidate-Elect for Yendi
– Hajia Abibata Shanni
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for Yendi, Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah, has rubbished the purported declaration of Farouk Aliu Mahama, the Member of Parliament for the constituency, as the winner of Saturday’s disputed parliamentary primary.
The election was disrupted after violence broke out, amidst the tearing of ballot papers and beating of journalists by the MP and his supporters, following alleged attempt to rig the poll.
Hajia Abibata Shanni, in a press release, copied The Anchor, said, “the purported declaration made by the 3rd National Vice Chairman is illegitimate and should be disregarded,” adding that “the situation remains under review.”
The Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Serebuor Quaicoe, has also stated that no official winner has been declared, as the EC is yet to determine the matter.
While urging calm and patience among her supporters and the rank and file, the Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) announced that a formal petition will be sent to the relevant stakeholders to deal with the matter.
Stuffing of Ballots
She recounted how one of the Electoral Commission officials supervising the poll was discovered with her ballots stuffed in his jacket in an attempt to destroy and conceal them from being counted.
Hajia Abibata Shanni narrated that, “Counting of ballot papers in the 2024 Yendi Parliamentary Election was profoundly and fiercely interrupted and halted due to a deliberate attempt by some Electoral Commission officials to manipulate the figures and overturn the verdict in favor of the incumbent MP, Farouk Aliu Mahama.”
According to her, “the Electoral Commission officials whether by miscalculation or by design during the counting of the ballot papers in the full glare of party supporters jumped the count from 69 straight to 80 which was his first attempt to increase the votes of our opponent by 10 more.”
She said, “As if that was not enough, they were also caught by vigilant agents and other observers for fraudulently destroying and even concealing some of the ballot papers belonging to HajiaAbibata in his jacket. The malevolent actions of the EC officials quickly provoked violent attacks from some party supporters who ended up destroying the ballot papers.”
The press release added that, “It took the swift intervention of the Police present to protect the EC officials, and both aspirants were advised by the Security to move from the scene. The election can therefore not be declared without the aspirants or our assigned agents.”
She indicated that, “The NPP, as a party, is committed to due process, emphasizes the importance of legal and procedural oversight in determining the legitimacy of any such declaration. A formal petition will be sent to the relevant stakeholders to deal with it.”
She however cautioned party members, as well as all stakeholders, to respect established party structures and refrain from making premature pronouncements until an official decision is reached.
Arrest Yendi MP
Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has demanded the arrest of Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama, the MP for Yendi, for attacking a journalist during the New Patriotic Party’s Parliamentary Primaries in the Constituency on Saturday.
The GJA, in a statement, signed by Mr. Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, its Northern Regional Chairman and copied to the media, strongly condemned the MP’s act.
The statement said Mr. Mohammed Aminu Alabira, a Reporter for CITI FM/TV, was attacked at the NPP’s Parliamentary Primaries in the Yendi Constituency in the Northern Region while covering the event.
It explained that while the journalist was going about his professional duties during the event, the MP for Yendi slapped and kicked him, and he fell on the ground.
It added that some of the MP’s supporters also pounced on him in the full glare of the security personnel, who managed to rescue him from them.
It said, “It is very sad and disturbing that this boorish and vulgar act was perpetrated by no less a person than the MP of the area. This is very shameful and must be condemned by all well-meaning citizens.”
“The MP should know that as a law maker, we are governed by laws, and behaviours such as what he displayed will not be entertained,” the statement said.
The statement said, “We are by this press statement calling on the Ghana Police Service to as a matter of urgency, arrest the MP over this barbaric act.”
It said, “The GJA will work assiduously with the Police to ensure that justice is served in this matter.”
It said, “We, the Regional Executive, together with the National Executive, reaffirm our readiness to protect all journalists in the region especially in the performance of their lawful duties without any hindrances.”
The statement cautioned that, as the political season got heated, the GJA shall not tolerate any form of abuse on journalists from any individual or group of persons.”