Some scenes from yesterday’s incident
Some irate foot soldiers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Eastern Region yesterday reportedly caused commotion at one of the party’s numerous meetings to establish the cause of the party’s massive defeat in last year’s general elections.
The meeting, held in Koforidua, the regional capital, at the instance of the 13-member committee chaired by Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, was disrupted by the foot soldiers.
They reportedly prevented some of the party executives from attending the crucial meeting.
The committee’s meetings have been targeted and disrupted by angry grassroots supporters on numerous occasions in some of the regions.
DAILY GUIDE had earlier predicted the calamity awaiting the committee members, as some of the NDC activists believe that the cause of the humiliating defeat was nothing but greed on the part of the leadership of the party.
Angry party members have variously accused some leaders of the party at constituency, regional and national levels of hiding cash and other goodies that were meant to prosecute the re-election agenda of former President John Mahama.
In line with the demands of the youth, the meeting was held with branch executives without the participation of the regional executives.
A brawl ensued when irate party youth protested the decision to allow the regional executives, led by Bismarck Tawiah Boateng, to sit in the meeting.
They hurled insults at the executives, and threw chairs and tables in a desperate bid to scuttle the committee’s assembly.
The incensed NDC youth accused their regional executives of misappropriating funds meant to run the 2016 elections and were also demanding that they (regional executives) should be made to account for every pesewa given them ahead of the elections.
They claimed the executives embezzled funds meant for the electioneering campaign in the region.
In the heat of the campaign last year, the regional executives, with Mr Bismarck Tawiah Boateng, declared what they called ‘Agenda 50-50’ in a bid to reduce the popularity of then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) whose candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, hails from the region.
The foot soldiers said they were not enthused about the fact-finding mission because the executives caused the party’s humiliating defeat.
The youth said Tawiah Boateng’s team had given false hope that they were going to break the hegemony of the NPP but ended up recording 35.1% with only five parliamentary seats for the NDC in the region.
It took the intervention of the Eastern Regional Police, coupled with pep talks by Prof. Botchwey and his committee members, including Edward Doe Adjaho, former deputy speaker of parliament, to calm the nerves of the foot soldiers.
After normalcy appeared to have been restored, executives of 11 out of the 33 constituencies namely, New Juaben North and South, Abuakwa North and South, Suhum, Ayensuano, Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Okere, Akropong, Fanteakwa North and South, took part in a closed-door meeting with some key figures of the committee, including Juliana Azumah, Edward Doe Adjaho and Prof. Kwesi Botchwey.
The committee faced similar situation in Tamale recently where the party supporters vented their spleen on the regional chairman, Sofo Azorka and his cohorts for causing the NDC’s defeat.
Prof. Botchwey was, however, not at the Tamale meeting.
In the Volta Region recently, the committee had to sit in the night to avoid possible disruption of the process by the youth.
The committee is expected in Somanya on Friday to constituency executives in Asougyaman, Yilo and Manya Krobo.