There were chaotic scenes, once again, at the Ashanti Regional office of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Amakom-Kumasi yesterday.
The regional kingpins of the opposition party, including 47 constituency executives, were locked up in the building where they were meeting.
The irate supporters who were protesting the disqualification of Masawudu Mubarick to contest the Asawase seat blocked the exit with burning tyres, a situation which persisted for close to two hours.
Worsening the predicament of the ‘hostages’ was the polluting pall of smoke from the burning tyres.
The distress call from the trapped persons was heart-wrenching.
It was gathered that angry NDC youth from Asawase Constituency took that action because they said the Asawase NDC race cannot go without a contest.
It took the intervention of armed police officers from the Ashanti Regional Police Command to restore sanity and free the entrapped executives from their two-hour ordeal.
Among the top NDC members locked in the party office were Augustus Andrews Nana Akwasi, the Ashanti Regional NDC Chairman, his executives and the NDC executives from the 47 constituencies in the region.
Not even the administrative staff of the office, including secretaries, accountants, among others, were spared the ordeal at the hands of the angry party supporters who were ready to spill blood.
According to reports, the Ashanti Regional NDC Chairman had called a general meeting at the party office to discuss key issues confronting the party, including the upcoming vote register exhibition exercise.
The meeting, described by party members as very important, had taken off smoothly without any problem. But just when the meeting was gaining momentum, some angry party members suddenly ‘stormed’ the office premises.
The NDC youth from Asawase, who were singing war songs and issuing wild threats, quickly started to vandalise the main metal gate leading to the offices in the one-storey building.
The party executives, including Augustus Nana Akwasi, who were said to be gripped with fear, reportedly took to their heels from the ground floor to the top floor, where they took refuge for almost two hours.
The angry youth who could not be calmed down proceeded to lock the party office and set tyres on fire as the emanating smoke made its way into the locked office, creating discomfort for the party executives.
The scheduled party meeting could not be held as a result.
Eyewitnesses said some of the party executives, especially those from the various constituencies who got terrified, jumped through the windows and sustained slight injuries.
The police used persuasion to get the angry youth to leave the place but interestingly Augustus Nana Akwasi did not leave the office immediately perhaps afraid he could be attacked on his way.
According to reports, the police decided to use dialogue and persuasion instead of force to restore calm. After several minutes of talks, the youth finally agreed to the police’s request to leave the place in peace.
The Asawase NDC has been in turmoil recently after the party executives decided to disqualify Masawudu Mubarick, a staunch NDC member at Asawase, from the upcoming Asawase NDC elections.
Just last week, these same angry youth from Asawase ‘stormed’ the NDC regional office at Amakom and burnt car tyres to vent their anger. That, too, took the intervention of the police to restore normalcy.
The angry youth have vowed to create problems for the party until Masawudu Mubarick is allowed to contest the sitting Asawase NDC MP Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak in the party’s polls.