The Northern regional branch of the New Patriotic Party’s intention to deploy “strong men” to police ballot boxes on voting day in the region is worrying, the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANED) has said.
“This is something that must be condemned,” said Chukwumeka B. Eze, WANEP’s Executive Director, adding that the expressed intentions of the Northern region branch of the largest opposition party is “off-the-track.”
Bugri Naabu, chairman of the NPP in the region addressing a rally Sunday, 16 October at Savelegu during the campaign launch of the party’s parliamentary candidate, Mohammed Abdul Somed Gunu said that the party would unleash 40 strongly built men to every polling station in the region to police ballot boxes on voting day.
This, he said would prevent a repeat of what he described as the “naked thievery” that characterized the 2008 and 2012 elections perpetrated by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“They [NDC] know how to steal. They stole in 2008 and snatched it from us in 2012. So I beg you my elders what I have for the youth is that this year’s election if care is not taken they will steal again,” stated Mr. Naabu, adding:
“So on 7 December get some young and strong men about 40 to guard the box and if the thieves come to snatch away the boxes break their legs.”
“Don’t agree! If they are not afraid of guns and cutlass we are also not afraid,” thundered Mr. Naabu in an urging tone.
Reacting to the comments made by Mr. Naabu in an interview on Monday, Mr. Eze described the comments as disturbing and “off-the-track” thus the need for a swift response from the security agencies of the state.
“There is no need fanning the ember of violence,” he said when “we can as well go through the electoral process free; fair, transparent and peacefully and ensure that we have a country otherwise we won’t even have a place to rule.”
He called on the police to be proactive in dealing with issues such as these before it gets out of hand.