The Greater Accra Regional Police Command has invited the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, and his rival New Patriotic (NPP) candidate Nii Lante Bannerman to assist them to investigate last Saturday’s election-related violence.
Accra police spokeswoman DSP Effia Tenge told daily guide yesterday that the invitation was extended to the leading figures in the constituency on Monday.
She said even though there was no timeframe for them to report, Nii Lante Bannerman, who doubles as the National Chairman of the Pre-Mix Fuel Secretariat at the Ministry of Fisheries & Aquaculture, told the police to give him some time since the President was visiting the place last Tuesday.
However, she could not tell if the invitation had reached the NDC MP.
Two persons (name withheld by the police) have since been arrested in connection with the violence.
DSP Tenge said the police have since taken them to court to get a remand warrant while investigations into the matter continue.
She said another person captured in a video footage during the clash has been declared wanted by the police.
However, the police received a letter from a man who claimed to be his counsel (name withheld) that he would produce the suspect within the week.
The Odododiodoo Constituency which has always been a political hotspot and a flashpoint for election violence was in the news again when members of the two rival parties engaged in violent attacks on the streets of Jamestown in the constituency.
Supporters from each side were captured in videos hurling crude weapons, including stones, at their opponents in the fierce clash with some of the combatants sustaining injuries.
It turned into a blame game when the NPP and the NDC started trading accusations and counter-accusations over which grouping was responsible for the melee.
The NPP then held a news conference on Monday accusing the NDC of starting the trouble and appeared to lay the blame on the incumbent NDC MP.
Nii Lante Bannerman said, “The attacks, I am told, started at an NPP base known as Blue Gate which is located on the High Street in Jamestown, Accra. In the aftermath of the NDC’s organised walk, some of their supporters besieged the base without any provocation whatsoever.”
“They started this act of vandalism by first pelting the base with stones and bottles and also at our members who were there. They went further to vandalise the entire place and, in the act, destroyed a 75 and 40-inch television sets mounted on the walls, smashed electric bulbs, destroyed ceiling fans and threw a refrigerator from the top floor of the one-storey building,” he added.
He continued, “Earlier, popular boxer Braimah Kamoko aka Bukom Banku, a known NDC fanatic who was part of the walk, had climbed up the building to exchange pleasantries with some members of our party and also admonished on-looking NDC members to emulate his gesture. However, that advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears as some members of the NDC decided to do otherwise by throwing bottles and stones.”
“Not satisfied with the damage done, the stock-in-trade of the NDC, these hoodlums also besieged my political office at Jamestown, Ngleshie, adjacent the police station to continue their brutalities and criminal act, destroying some glass windows in the process.”
Nii Lante Vanderpuye later rubbished the claims, describing Nii Lante Bannerman as a ‘liar’.
“What again do you expect? He’s a liar, he was born a liar, he has grown to become a liar and he will continue to lie all his life. He is lying like any person in NPP. They lie from the head to the bottom, everyone among them lie, he said, adding, “I, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, organised what happened yesterday? It’s a shame.”
On Tuesday during his tour of the region, President Akufo-Addo condemned the incident and urged residents of Jamestown and surrounding areas, including Bukom in the constituency, to reject any politician or candidate who employs acts of violence towards the general election.
Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of the Ga State after inspecting an almost completed AstroTurf facility at the famous Bukom Square, the President said the upcoming elections “will afford everyone the opportunity to express their opinion through the ballot box; it is not fighting.”
“So if anyone wants to use force and violence in this elections, the person doesn’t have anything to offer and anyone who will bring force and violence doesn’t have any message for the people,” he said while asking rhetorically, “What has voting got to do with violence?”
“We don’t want any violence during the December elections,” he said, adding, “We want peace in Accra…Africa and the entire world are all watching us.”