A meeting between political rivals, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) went well in Asawase in the Ashanti region, until a woman’s hijab was removed.
Suddenly, jabs flew in and out in a free-for-all-fight between loyalists of the two parties within the constituency and it is now a subject of police investigations.
Asawase, a hotbed for political violence, is one of 275 constituencies where the Electoral Commission is conducting a limited voters registration exercise.
It is for persons who are now eligible to vote as the December 2020 elections beckons.
The process has seen queues and reported frustrations in getting registered. Asawase is one such place.
The opposition NDC had been complaining that NPP executives within the constituency still manage to register people even after the announced closing time of 5pm each day.
By 5pm, no one is allowed to join the queue. But according to the NDC, this rule has been disregarded not more than once.
Some form of peace talks was arranged at a community center in Asawase. The police, EC officials and the MP, Muntaka Mohammed were in attendance.
The aggrieved NDC members produced a woman as their witness. She had been able to register at the office of the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly.after the 5pm closing time courtesy NPP help. She wore a hijab as the NDC representatives wanted to protect her identity.
Inside the community center, some agreements were reached. Those eligible for registration will be numbered at closing time.
Outside the center, loyalists from the two rival parties waited for the outcome of the meeting.
Out came representatives of both parties, the police, EC officials, Muntaka Mohammed – and the escorted ‘star witness’.
Suddenly an NPP woman Zeinab Jibril, allegedly ripped off the veil. The naked face of the witness staring at a motley crowd that stared back in a moment.
The NPP woman claimed a quick session of slaps followed her ‘bravado’. She accuses the NDC MP.
Muntaka Mohammed has rejected the accusation, explaining he was a few bodies ahead of the veiled woman and could not have been party to any aggression.
In the melee, several party supporters were assaulted. Three were reported injured and bloodied.
A vehicle was damaged in the moment of chaos after a meeting that looked to have resolved a disagreement.
The police are yet to issue a statement.