Odorkor GPRTU leadership dispute: 3 suffer gunshot wounds

A dispute over the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) leadership position at the Odorkor lorry station, in Accra, assumed a life threatening dimension last Friday when three persons suffered gunshot wounds.

 

The gunshots were fired by a gang of self-styled securitymen, popularly referred to as landguards, allegedly affiliated to one of the feuding factions, who stormed the station ostensibly to cause mayhem.

 

The victims, Philip Quartey, 25, Jonathan Adjei, 33, and Bernard Oko Yaw Boye, 35, were rushed to the Mab Hospital, Odorkor, where two of the victims were treated and discharged, while the third was referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

 

The indiscriminate firing of guns by the landguards, who besieged the station on unregistered motorcycles, sent drivers, bus conductors, passengers, hawkers and passersby running helter skelter for their lives.

 

Eyewitnesses told the Ghanaian Times a police patrol team that came to the scene had a hard time putting the situation under control.

 

As if that was not enough, the landguards, wielding guns on Saturday stormed the station again to scare almost everyone.

 

They tied red bands at the entrance of the lorry station, and their presence compelled drivers to ‘load’ on the shoulders of the road which also caused a temporary gridlock on the adjoining roads.

 

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) EffiaTenge, the Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, confirmed the shooting, and said efforts were being made to arrest the landguards while the situation was being monitored.

 

Delving into the conflict, she said initial investigation had revealed it was fueled by the appointment of Issac Mensah, a member of GPRTU Salaga branch, Eric Tagoe, local first trustee of GPRTU Salaga branch and Emmanuel Ankrah, Regional chairman of GPRTU as an interim management committee.

 

According to DSP Tenge, they were appointed by the regional executives of GPRTU to replace the old executives made up of Samuel Quaye, local chairman; Joseph Arhin Adama, the vice chairman, and Kingsley Kwaku Sakyi, the first trustee.

 

She  said after the Friday incident, the Accra Regional Divisional Police Command invited  both factions  together with a representative from the regional executives in the person of Abass Ibrahim Moro, the regional Industrial Relations Officer to a meeting  but chairmen of both old and interim executives were absent.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

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