A statement issued by the NPP presidential aspirant said he learnt of the terrible attack while in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and had subsequently been briefed on the party’s arrangements to fly the victim to Accra for urgent treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, only to hear the shocking news that Alhaji Mahama had died.
“This is a big test for our great party. We should show responsibility and solidarity with one another. We should not take the law into our own hands but support the police in their conduct of proper investigations into this tragedy, so that those responsible are brought to book, in accordance with the law. We must stand together at this time, not against one another
“My heart, thoughts and condolences and those of the entire NPP family go out to his family. The party will stand strongly with them in this time of our great loss. I am cutting short my stay in Europe to return home immediately to be with the party and his family,” it said.
The statement urged all to refrain from all political discussions for now as they took stock of their loss as a sign of respect for the departed chairman.
Headquarters under siege
Nana Akufo-Addo’s call for calm comes in the wake of an angry mob that besieged the NPP headquarters in Accra to ‘oust’ the party’s National Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, and the General Secretary, Mr Kwabena Agyapong.
It took the intervention of the police to ward off the irate supporters, who blamed Alhaji Mahama’s death on Mr Afoko and Mr Agyapong.
Mr Agyapong’s statement
But a statement signed by Mr Agyapong and issued by the party condemned the incident leading to Alhaji Mahama’s death, describing it as criminal.
“We expect that the Ghana Police Service will act swiftly in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to face the full wrath of the law.
“We call on our party faithful to remain calm in this sad moment of ours and trust the security agencies to give us justice.
“We mourn and stand together with the family of our departed patriot in this moment of shock and grief and direct that all party flags fly at half mast across the country,” it said.
But the statement appeared to have irked some of the party supporters.
Led by one Dennis Ahmed, the angry youth declared the two national executive members persona non grata.
“Ever since they came to power, the party has seen no peace. This is the last straw. They must go,” Ahmed said to a cheering crowd.
There was no sign of the two being at the headquarters.
That was not the first time party supporters had thronged the party’s headquarters in protest. Similar incidents happened in May and August last year as well as May 6, this year.
Police officers armed with batons took over the entrace of the party headquaters at Asylum Down in Accra, and screened people before they entered the premises but most people, including journalists, were turned away.
Party bigwigs gather at Dr Bawumia’s residence
The confusion at the party headquarters was in sharp contrast to the sombre atmosphere at the residence of the running mate to the presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
A source told the Daily Graphic that a meeting planned to discuss party matters had been cancelled because of the bad news.
Among notable faces spotted in the house were the Chairman of the NPP Council of Elders, Mr C.K. Tedam; a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; the National Organiser, Mr John Boadu; the National Youth Organiser, Mr Sammy Awuku; the National Nasara Coordinator, Kamal-Deen Abdulai, and a former MP for Ayawaso Central, Sheikh I.C. Quaye.
There were also a number of sitting MPs, including those for Ayawaso West Wuogon and Walewale, Mr Emmanuel Agyarko and Dr Sagre Bambangi, respectively.
People were screened before they were allowed into the house, but unlike the party headquarters, there was no police presence.
Addressing the media, Dr Bawumia urged party supporters to be calm.
“We want all our supporters to be calm. This is not a period for reaching hasty conclusions. Let’s allow the law to take its course and investigations to take place,” he said.
“He was a leader of the party and so an attack on him is an attack on the party. We are standing in solidarity. We will commiserate with his family. We’ll see to it that he is given a befitting burial and funeral,” he added.
Dr Bawumia said what the deceased needed from party members were their prayers.
The Daily Graphic gathered that the party was waiting for information from the bereaved family on the funeral for the late party chairman to take the next step.
Some party sources said the party’s delegation would leave for the Upper East Region today.
In another development, the Police Homicide Unit has taken over investigations into the case.
It has already despatched a crack team to Bolgatanga to commence investigations into the death of Mr Mahama.
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