A bloody clash between supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the management of a transport terminal in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, has left at least nine people sustaining serious injuries.
A horrific free-for-all occurred at the Tamale and Bawku lorry terminal at Alabar, a suburb of Kumasi, after some NPP supporters attempted to take over management of the place.
The injured said to be from the camp of both factions were rushed to Manhyia Government Hospital and other health facilities for treatment by the police.
Eyewitnesses’ account narrated that passengers, traders and passers-by who were caught up in the melee had to run for cover, as the fighters battled each other indiscriminately.
Both factions were said to be armed with machetes, clubs and dangerous weapons.
However the arrival of the police prevented more bloodbath as they fired warning shots to separate the factions.
The Times gathered that NPP faction arrived at the terminal about 7:30 am and forcibly attempted to seize the operations of the place, claiming their party was in charge prior to the NDC winning power in 2009.
But they were driven away after the NDC victory and have now returned to reclaim the management because the NPP has regained power.
When the NDC faction refused to budge, a melee ensued leading to the injuries and panic at the terminal.
The Ghanaian Times further gathered that barely two weeks ago an NPP group from the Northern Region had sent a warning letter to the current management members to vacate their post.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Ken Yeboah, whilst confirming the incident claimed the disturbance was fueled by the long standing tribal rift between Abudus and Andanis managing the terminal.
“Our information is that, somewhere 2008 and 2009, the lorry station was being operated by some people who aligned themselves with the Abudu faction, when there was a change of government, some people attacked them and took over, and now that there is a change over, the Abudus who also aligned themselves with the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are also trying to revenge,” he explained.
DCOP Yeboah said some executive members of the stations have been invited by the police for questioning.
According to the deputy Police Commander after investigations are completed the case docket would be forwarded to the Attorney General’s department for advice.
He did not disclose the number of the executives invited but said, “I have asked that the executives be detained.”
Meanwhile, relative calm has been restored after the police drove away the two factions from the terminal.
From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi