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04 January 2017

Security forces avert clash at Agbogbloshie

ghana-policeThe timely intervention by personnel from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) yesterday prevented what could have been a bloody confrontation between supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Old Fadama in Accra.

Some aggrieved youth of the slum community are said to have mobilised in an attempt to force open some rooms, stores and other facilities that had been locked up and taken over by supporters of the NPP after Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had been declared the winner of the December 7, 2016 presidential poll.

The move by the NPP supporters to lock up those structures is believed to be in retaliation for a similar action by supporters of the NDC when the NDC won the 2008 general election.

The security personnel are said to have arrived at Old Fadama in the early hours of yesterday to stop machete and stick-wielding youth from besieging the premises of some of the seized facilities, an intervention eyewitnesses said was initially resisted by the angry youth.

Reports

According to reports, the police, who arrived at the place in the nick of time, were left with no option but to call for reinforcement from the GAF in order to weather the storm.

Last Sunday, the Daily Graphic picked up pieces of information that there was uneasy calm among residents of Old Fadama.

Some residents of the community believed to be sympathetic to the NPP were hatching a plan to take over some properties of some NDC sympathisers who were said to have taken a similar action when their party won power in 2008.

Information gathered by the Daily Graphic showed that some NDC supporters had fled the area for fear of their lives.

It was also gathered that the NPP supporters had carried out some operations at midnight to eject some occupants of structures which were allegedly taken from them in 2008.

Some victims who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity said they were threatened with machetes and knives at midnight, for which reason they feared to sleep in their rooms at night.

Efforts

All efforts made by the Daily Graphic to speak to the police on the measures that had been put in place to avert the looming violence proved fruitless because of cumbersome and bureaucratic processes.

A visit to the Old Fadama Police Station and the Jamestown Police Command yielded no fruits; nor did phone calls and text messages to the Accra Regional Police Command yield any fruit.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Regional Police Command, ASP Afia Tenge, who answered a call placed to her, said she could not speak to the issues, since it was the Commander of the Accra Central Division (Ministries), ACP Emmanuel Bosso Ashong, who was in charge of operations at Old Fadama.

Meanwhile, ACP Bosso neither answered calls placed to him, nor did he reply text messages sent to him.

Initiatives

Some opinion leaders who spoke to the Daily Graphic stated that a road map had been drawn by the police and other stakeholders to address all outstanding issues and also deal with the criminal elements who wanted to take the law into their hands.

The Chairman of the Konkomba Yam Market, Mr Noah Kwame Jiparl, said he had invited all the chiefs and local leaders, including the leaders of political parties, to a meeting, at which they all pledged to maintain peace, saying he was surprised that some bad elements were still adamant to adhering to the peace process.

“Last Friday, the leadership of the Konkomba Yam Market had the opportunity to meet the President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo. At our meeting, I raised concerns over the security challenges posed by the action of some party supporters in the slum.

“Dr Mahamudu Bawumia promised to deal with that situation before the handover on January 7, this year. But I am surprised that after that meeting, the seizing of properties still continues,” he added.

Committee

He, however, said a committee made up of police officers, chiefs, political figures and opinion leaders had been set up to handle all grievances in order to ensure that peace returned to the area.

Other people who spoke to the Daily Graphic, including the NDC and the NPP chairmen for Old Fadama, Alhaji Abdulai Sulemana and Mr Yakubu Abdula, respectively, confirmed that some misunderstanding had ensued over ownership of some facilities, dating back to 2008.

While Alhaji Sulemana blamed supporters of the NPP for taking the law into their hands, instead of going by the law, Mr Abdula said NDC supporters who ran from their homes did so out of fear.

“When they ran away after the election results had been declared, we decided to lock up the rooms because it was clear that those rooms were not theirs. We locked up 52 rooms, but some of the original owners came and took back their rooms,” Mr Abdula said.

The two party leaders said they were ready to co-operate with the committee that had been set up to ensure that peace returned to the area.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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