Before the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, better known as Chairman Wontumi, begged electorates on his knees ahead of the upcoming Kumawu by-election, he did something strange ahead of the famous Talensi by-election in 2015.
A few days back, Wontumi went on his knees in Kumawu, Ashanti Region, begging the voting public to elect the NPP’s Ernest Yaw Anim as Member of Parliament (MP) at the by-poll slated for tomorrow— May 23, 2023. His action grabbed headlines after a video of his plea went viral.
Eight years ago, he was captured at an isolated spot in Talensi, Upper East Region, a few days to the by-election, dispatching a man with a motorised tricycle loaded with bags of fertiliser.
The motorised tricycle seen in the video was branded with the flags of the NPP’s main rival, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and labelled with the campaign posters of the NDC’s parliamentary candidate for the by-election, Benson Tongo Baba.
There were four other men at the scene in the 30-second video, one of them wearing an NPP-branded white shirt.
The video ends with the rider receiving fraternal strokes on his arms from the men as he sets off with the loaded tricycle, smiling and nodding to a pep talk from two of those men. Then, Wontumi, clothed wholly in white, discreetly waves him off.
A source, who furnished Media Without Borders with the video, said the tricycle rider was an NPP supporter. He further disclosed that the tricycle was branded with the NDC materials, loaded with fertiliser and paraded in public places in a plot to portray the NDC as buying votes with fertiliser.
Wontumi was in Talensi with other NPP gurus to offer his support to the NPP’s parliamentary candidate, Thomas Duanab. The NDC’s Benson Tongo Baba won the by-election.
Tomorrow’s by-election in Kumawu has three other people competing against the NPP’s Anim. They are Kwasi Amankwaa who represents the NDC and two independent candidates who bear the same name, Kwaku Duah.
The by-election comes after the demise of the MP, Philip Basoah, on March 27, 2023, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
“The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Wontumi, can do anything; and if care is not taken, he will smear the NDC with allegations that we have never taught of. Wontumi is a wicked politician.
“The members of the NDC should be vigilant against any foreign material in their midst and also at polling stations. The party should borrow a page from the Talensi by-election,” said an Nkrumaism exponent, Zumah Tii-roug Yaro.
He added: “They should monitor Wontumi closely and some officials of the Electoral Commission to avoid any electoral malpractices.”
Watch the video of Wontumi’s 2015 alleged plot below:
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org