The arrest of four persons conducting research for the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, in the Upper Manya Krobo Constituency of the Eastern Region has heightened political tension in the area.
The four were arrested Saturday, November 14, 2020, by armed Police officers led by the District Police Commander John Yeboah while in a community administering questionnaires.
They were, however, granted bail four hours after the intervention of the party executives.
Police also impounded motorbikes which they were using to move around.
Addressing the media on Sunday, Kwasi Lawer spokesperson for the Campaign team of the NDC in the Constituency questioned the basis for the arrest of their members conducting a survey for the party.
"just as any other organizations like the media, students and the Civil Societies conduct surveys, we in the NDC also have that same right to conduct a survey and that was exactly what we were doing before the needless arrest by the police. We want to ask the police when did conducting research or a survey and campaigning become a crime in Ghana?
"The District Police Command who is said to be acting on the directives of the top NPP executives reluctantly granted our party faithfuls bail after several hours of being in police custody"
He added, "the Police Command who is supposed to act professionally per the code of ethics of the service, has thrown the laws of the land to the dogs, forgetting that his allegiance is to the state and not the governing party."
He said the NPP unleashed thugs on their party faithfuls during the voters registration exercise but the local police failed to act which has emboldened them to fester similar intimidation tactics going into the main election, therefore demanding, that Police come out with a roadmap to ensure peaceful election on December 7.
The Party, however, charged all members and sympathizers in the Upper Manya Krobo Constituency "to remain vigilant and be security conscious due to what we have seen in Akatawia, when our opponents brought cutlasses to intimate us during the voter registration.
"We haven't forgotten how some of our party faithfuls were unfairly transferred, some slapped and beaten at various polling stations by no less a person but the NPP MP Hon. Joseph Tetteh himself".
The NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Upper Manya Krobo, Bismark Tetteh said the NDC may be forced to retaliate the NPP if the Police cannot be a neutral arbiter.
"NPP thinks they can only win this election through violence. We are ready for them. We are for peace of course we know we are winning so we don't have issues to fight people of we are winning then we must ensure that there is peace however we are also ready for whoever wants to bring violence to Upper Manya"
However, the Upper Manya Krobo NPP has been reacting to this development accusing the NDC of inciting the people under the guise of a survey.
"Yesterday some of their youth went to the villages precisely Odumata and they went there to ask the people whether if they vote for Hon Joe T and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo won't there be a war and the people asked them are you here to campaign and cause confusion indeed the area became chaotic.
"Police had the intelligence and went there so they brought the guys who disguised under conducting research to the police station to write their statement. I was there, nobody detained them, NPP have no time to follow them with their fallacies" Philip Kwaku Mamphey a stalwart of the NPP in Upper Manya said.
The Upper Manya Krobo Constituency is one of the hottest areas in this year's election as the NDC pushes hard to recapture its long occupied seat snatched in 2016 by the incumbent NPP Member of Parliament Joseph Tetteh who is seeking reelection.
The Asesewa District Police Commander John Yeboah was, however, unavailable to respond to allegations of bias levelled against him.