By Gifty Arthur
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication officer for the Salaga South Constituency, Abu Yakubu aka Omega, has been arrested together with nine other youth of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Salaga in the Savannah Region, during a dawn swoop by a combined team of Police and Military.
The exercise, which was carried out around 2am Tuesday, according to unconfirmed reports is in connection with the burning down of the NPP party office months ago, over government’s naming of Damango as the capital for the Savannah Region.
According to the NDC Parliamentary candidate for Salaga South Constituency, Hajia Zuwera Ibrahima, the home of the NDC communicator, was surrounded by these Police and Military officers, while he was asleep with his wife and children and taken away, as though Ghana is still under military rule.
Omega and the others, have since been transported to the Northern Regional Capital of Tamale, raising more suspicion.
Hajia Zuwera, said the party is puzzled, as to why its member was arrested, when the issue at stake involves members of the NPP.
Even more worrying according to her, is the denial by the Regional Minister, Adam Braimah Salifu, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Salaga South, that he knows nothing about the dawn arrest.
The NDC Parliamentary candidate speaking to The Herald over the incident yesterday, said the opposition party was particularly worried about the arrest of Omega.
She said, it is an indictment on the Regional Minister to say that he does not know anything about the arrest of the youth when by law, he is supposed to be head of the Regional Security Council (RESEC).
In her view, answers would have to be provided by the Minister, to show that he is in-charge of the Region.
Hajia Zuwera said, her sources tell her the suspects have been denied chance to speak to anyone, while the Police have also remained tight-lipped on the matter, leaving room for more suspicion.
The suspects, have also been refused access to their lawyers, while writing their statements.
Other sources, say the suspects are being processed for court and it is during their appearance in court that charge (s) will be preferred against Omega and the nine other NPP supporters.
The party at the regional level, according to Hajia Zuwera, is working to get answers and if possible secure bail for their release.
Meanwhile, speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Tuesday, the head of the NDC communication for the Savannah region, Malik Sabintari, said the party would resist attempts to intimidate them.
“I don’t understand why the police will pick up the NDC communicator from Salaga and move him straight to Tamale. Rumours have it that they want to fly him to Accra.
In the video that went viral, those who were seen torching the building, mentioned that they were members of the NPP and that their leaders disappointed them and that was why they took that action.
“What kind of investigation will happen in Accra when the alleged crime happened in the Savanna Region? At 2am the entire household of the communicator was surrounded by the police together with some National Security Operatives and he was picked up.
I have spoken to the party’s lawyer in the region and we will not allow such intimidating tactics by the government,” he said.
It will be recalled that in February this year, some irate youth of the governing NPP in Salaga set the party’s constituency office on fire minutes after President Nana Akufo-Addo named Damongo as the capital for the newly-created Savannah Region.
The NPP youth also chased out the party’s constituency executives, who were seen running for dear life.
The NPP youth had lobbied for Salaga to be made the capital of the new region rather than Damongo. They, thus, vented their spleen on the governing party’s office when their wish was not fulfilled.
Speaking at a ceremony to present Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 116 for the creation of the Savannah Region at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, President Akufo-Addo said: “Damongo, has been chosen as the capital of the Savannah Region.”
The creation of the Savannah Region, together with five others, was a campaign promise of the NPP during the 2016 elections.
After the NPP won the polls, a Commission of Inquiry, headed by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Seth Brobbey, was instituted to ensure the creation of the regions.
Accordingly, Oti, Bono East, Western North, Ahafo, Savannah, North East regions were created with a promise that their development was going to be fast tracked to march up with the existing regions but it is not clear with the promise GHc20 million which government promised the six, was ever handed over to them.