It took the efforts of a combined police and military team to prevent possible bloodshed at the Savannah Regional Police headquarters over allegations that some people had been brought into the district to register to vote.
A serious verbal confrontation broke out between two leading political figures, the Member of Parliament for Damongo, Adam Mutawakilu and the Savannah Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party, Iddrisu Sulemana popularly known as Professor Calmonia after claims that some 14 individuals had came into the constituency from Kintampo in the Bono East Region to register as voters.
The 14 people who were onboard a commercial vehicle with registration number AS 8973-16 were confronted at the Damongo bus terminal by the Member of Parliament of Damongo and his monitoring team amidst tension and fear. But with the timely intervention of the the military, the people were all escorted to the Savannah Regional Police headquarters for resolution of the case.
And after several hours of a closed-door meeting with some Regional party executives of NPP and NDC, the Savannah Regional Police Commander, Enock Adetwum Bediako says the two parties agreed and resolved to drop the matter.
According to DCOP, Enock Adetwum Bediako, he got information that some people had been bused to Damongo to register and were moved to the police headquarters.
“So I went to meet the complainants and the people at the police station,” he says. “I saw that the other party too was interested in the case”.
The Savannah Regional Police Commander says it turned out that the National Democratic Congress, were the complainants and the ruling New Patriotic Party, NPP, an interested party. Hence their regional executives were invited into a meeting.
“NDC gave their complaints that they suspected those people not to come from Damongo and they came to register but the NPP challenged that the people have not come to register but they have come to visit the party’s executives and even some of them are natives of Damongo. So upon interrogation, we saw that really, 9 in number were natives of Damongo and the others too, have accompanied their friends to come to Damongo.”
He continued: “The two parties, NDC and NPP have agreed that the police have no right or mandate to drive anybody from Damongo no matter the reason why the person is coming and even if the people have come to register and the NDC feels that they are not from Damongo, they should challenge them at the registration centres that is why we have challenge forms so that the Committee will sit to determine the case.”
In an exclusive interview, the MP of Damongo, Adam Mutawakilu, says his outfit was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
According to him , what has happened, is a vindication for NDC.
“I’ve said it over and over again that the NPP people, for that matter, their Parliamentary Candidate, Samuel Abu jinapor is desperate to get people from other areas who are not residents here before to come and help him win Damongo seat as he has come to realise that with the people of Damongo, he has no future in terms of political ambition to become an MP.”
“I’ve detected it and followed up to Kintampo North where he wanted to bring Two Thousand(2,000) people here to register and for his monitored team and today, he has been caught red-handed,” the MP insists.
“I was on my usual monitoring tour to some polling stations with the Savannah Regional NDC Treasurer , Ali Kasim and the Chairman, Abdullah when we received a call that some people were brought from Kintampo and it was confirmed when we got there but the situation was very tensed so I asked the Military to escort the vehicle and the people to the police.”
Mr. Adam Mutawakilu sounded a word of caution to his opponents.
“I’m sending signal to everybody. Be it Kintampo area, be it Tamale, be it Wa, be it Bole, be it Sawla that, please, if you are not from Damongo, do not come here to register because we are at the various polling stations waiting for whoever that comes around to register when you know very well that you have not been here, you have never stayed here. We make sure that we challenge each and every person that registers.”
Efforts to reach members of the governing New Patriotic Party on the matter proved futile as its regional chairman, Iddrisu Sulemana declined commenting on the matter. The bus has since departed from Damongo with all occupants onboard.