Several supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Mampong in the Ashanti Region have been injured in an internal violent clash.
A former Member of Parliament for the area, Francis Addai-Nimoh, was prevented by the supporters of the incumbent MP, Sarpong Ampratwum, from filing his nomination forms to contest the party’s primary.
The situation created confusion among the supporters of the two aspiring candidates, causing them to clash in a free-for-all at the party’s constituency office Wednesday afternoon.
Supporters from both sides hurled stones at each other while others used sticks to smash their opponent, injuring some of them in the process.
Video from the scene showed one person who was slapped with a stick collapsed in front of a shop near the party office while another person who had a stick in hand with blood oozing from his face being restrained.
Others were captured heckling each other just in front of the party office which is located on a first floor of a building.
It took the internvention of the police which arrived at the scene an hour later, to disperse the angry crowd.
Mr Addai-Nimo and the incumbent MP, Sarpong Ampratwum, were scheduled to submit their nomination forms today at different times but the former MP’s forms were twice rejected today by the constituency election committee without reasons, when it was submitted by a delegation.
Though Mr Ampratwum had filed his nomination form earlier in the morning, his supporters stayed at the party office until afternoon and prevented a five-man delegation sent by Mr Addai-Nimo from filing the nomination form on his behalf.
Our correspondent Benjamin Aidoo who witnessed the nasty scene said the delegation were asked by the election committee to go and return Thursday to file the nomination of Mr Addai-Nimo without giving reasons.
The former MP was last week denied access to purchase the nomination forms at the constituency level, forcing him to do so at the regional office in Kumasi, a move some have said is calculated attempt by the constituency executives to prevent him from contesting the primary.
According to Mr Addai-Nimo, he mentioned to the constituency chairman last Saturday that he will be submitting his nomination forms today.
“He indicated to me that the sitting MP will do his at about 11 o’clock” Mr Addai-Nimo told 3news.com, adding he then informed the chairman he will submit his forms at 3:00 p.m. which he agreed to.
“I confirmed this time to him on Monday and last night, he [the chairman] called me that he could not receive me today and I persuaded him that I had made all my preparation to file my nomination at 3:00pm so if he is coming at this hour to indicate to me that he could not receive my nomination then he is just being unfair to me,” he stated.
“It’s just unfortunate this thing should happen…why should just receiving a nomination be a problem, an exercise that takes about 5 minutes” he quizzed.
‘No common sense’
The former MP did not understand why the party was making it difficult for him to file his nomination when one other person and the incumbent MP have filed theirs without issues,
“So why should it be difficult for me also to file my nomination and for you to tell me that I should come on the last day of the period? I find it a bit ridiculous. There is no common sense in it.”
He said he has reported today’s incident to the Regional chairman of the NPP who has promised to receive his form in the event that the constituency election committee reject it again on Thursday.
“He has indicated to me that I should remain calm, I should exercise restraint. Tomorrow, if he fails to receive the nomination forms I could rush to Kumasi and he the regional chairman is ready to receive the nomination forms,” he said.
Mr Addai-Nimo demanded that the constituency election committee lives up to expectations “because there is responsibility on them”.
“They cannot shirk their responsibility,” he stated.
He has meanwhile called on his supporters to remain calm and not engage in violence act or activity that will increase the tension in the constituency.