The three polling station executives were banished after they flouted an order by the chief of the area not to participate in the NDC primary conducted in the Chiana-Paga constituency recently.
Pe Adams Kwarase whose role is being disputed is alleged to have barred party members in his community from taking part in the election. But the three executives flouted the order by the chief and got themselves banished.
Speaking to Accra-based Starr FM Chairman of the Tigakuri Polling Station Mohammed Akwari said “before the primary, the chief called us and warned, saying he did not want anybody to go out and vote. About two days to the voting day, he called us again saying, ‘I want to remind you people, I don’t want anybody to vote’. The voting day came. We went out and voted. He called us again. He said, ‘I told you not to vote and you refused. Leave my community and don’t take anything along with you’. I have a farm. He told me to leave everything.” Akwari left behind two wives and eight children.
Chairman for the Tazika Polling Station, Clement Abazang also left behind two old women, a father, a wife and children. He said the chief argued that “we as executives should have stopped people from voting and that we failed to ensure that his command was followed.”
The three say they have been wandering in Paga doing menial jobs so they send money to their families back home through other people.
The banished three are not the first to experience this. The chief banished three people from the community in 2014 for associating themselves with Paga.
Sources say that a long-standing misunderstanding between the Paga Traditional Council and the chief is the reason for the eviction of all these people.
After he was installed chief, Pe Adams Kwarase is alleged to have sought to declare his area independent from Paga. He also around that period allegedly pronounced his area as no longer part of the Kassena-Nankana West District but rather a divisional domain under the Navrongo Traditional Area in the next-door Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
The banished executives said the chief had warned his subordinates not to engage in any civic business with the district and the constituency.
But the chief described the allegations as untrue linking them to the conflict between him and the Paga Traditional Council.
“If you know the conflict between Navio and Paga, you should also know that people are underground doing their own work, claiming I have done what I didn’t do. It’s not true that I banished them. I did not banish anybody. As a leader in the community, I have [the] mandate to share ideas with them.”
“In the first place, no candidate came to me that he [wanted] any vote. And if something is not going correctly in my community, I have the right to sit down with my community as a leader and talk to them because they are voting for a purpose,” he added.
In a related development, the police say they are investigating a complaint from two people claiming to be banished from the area by the chief.
The Kassena-Nankana West District Police Commander, DSP Isaac Kojo Forson, said “actually, that’s the allegation they are making, and we are also investigating. At the end of the day, we would know whether it’s true or not.”
The banished three said they will defy the orders given by the chief and return to the community. “I have children. If I run away and anything happens to my family, it won’t be fair. I’m prepared to go back to my community. Let him (the chief) kill me with my family. Whatever will happen should happen. We know the chief. If he says he’s going to do this, he will do it. That is why we are reporting this to the media,” Danteri a polling station organiser said almost in tears.