The timely intervention by the police on Thursday foiled violent clashes between two groups within the New Patriotic Party in the Ablekuma Central Constituency in Greater Accra.
A group known as the Concerned NPP Grassroots of Ablekuma Central had planned to hold a press conference Thursday at the party's constituency office at Shukula in Accra to express their misgivings about what they described as the inappropriate conduct of the Municipal Chief Executive of Ablekuma Central, Mariama Karley Amui.
What was supposed to be a peaceful press conference turned chaotic when another group, identified as supporters of the MCE stormed the event ground and disrupted the programme.
The group, numbering about 10, vandalised chairs, tables and canopies at the event and threatened to manhandle the members of the aggrieved group if they failed to call off the press conference.
The leadership of the Concerned NPP Grassroot fiercely resisted the opposition of the other group and insisted to speak to the press "even if it cost our lives."
But for the timely intervention of the police, who stormed the scene after about an hour of heated exchanges, the situation would have been catastrophic as both groups stood their ground.
The press conference was subsequently called off after the police succeeded in dispersing the feuding groups from the party office.
When Graphic Online arrived at the party’s constituency office Thursday morning at about 9a.m. some supporters of the party had grouped in front of the office in readiness for the scheduled press conference.
About an hour later, a group of men, who identified themselves as supporters of the MCE, stormed the event ground and without any provocation vandalised the chairs and tables and ordered the supporters to vacate the scene.
While some fled for safety, some of the members confronted the men, who did not wield any weapon, insisting that they reserved the right to hold the press conference.
The altercation between the two groups nearly turned into violent clashes when a team of armed police officers stormed the scene to restore calm and order.
The police dispersed everyone from the scene, leading to the cancellation of the press conference.
In an interaction with some of the men identified as supporters of the MCE after the melee, they expressed dissatisfaction about the location of the press conference.
According to them, although the MCE did not sanction their action, they supported and appreciated her contribution towards the growth of the party and would therefore “resist any attempt to tarnish her image.”
“We are not against their press conference. Whatever they are going to say is not the position of the party so we do not understand why they would hold the conference at the party office. If they want peace to prevail, then they should relocate the event,” one of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity stressed.
The Convener for the Concerned NPP Grassroots of Ablekuma Central, Mr Patrick Addo described the situation as “shameful and shocking.”
He said the purpose of the press conference was to highlight some critical issues bordering on the conduct of the MCE, which he claimed cost the party in the 2020 election.
“This is a peaceful press conference. It is within our right that whenever we feel that something is not going right, we speak about it so that the right thing would be done. What has happened today is so shameful,” he said.