There was pandemonium at the infant Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) near Tema when irate National Democratic Congress (NDC) thugs descended on the facility seeking the transfer of the ownership of toilets in the sprawling township.
They arrived at the premises in four buses and were led by a certain Bawa, Ashaiman NDC Constituency Secretary and Adjei, Constituency Organiser.
Their action, laced with noisy singing of war songs, was a replication of what has come to be known as the NDC toilet coup sweeping across the country.
Frightened staff of the assembly, DAILY GUIDE learnt, have embarked on an indefinite strike for fear of being manhandled by the thugs who appear intent on having their way as regards the usurpation of the toilets.
Following the pandemonium, staff of the assembly boycotted the facility as was observed by DAILY GUIDE during a visit to the place a day after the incident.
Confirming the boycott, Albert Boakye Okyere, the Municipal Chief Executive noted that indeed the workers were on strike for fear of being attacked.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As I talk to you now I am on my way to the Regional Coordinating Council to see how best we can resolve this and to beef up security so that staff can come back to work and go back to their houses after work safely,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
He stated that though he was not in the office at the time the thugs arrived, he learnt that they vandalized offices, assaulted some staff members and even promised to return.
The thugs, he added, said in front of the Police that they would return if their demand of being handed the toilets was not met.
In the melee that greeted the attack, mobile phones were snatched and doors to offices damaged as the Indian Hemp-smoking youth demanded to see the Municipal Chief Executive who was said to be unavailable at the time.
For those who saw the rampaging party elements, the scene was nightmarish as narrated by a secretary at the place.
They were clad in NDC colours and bore placards which captured their objective under the leadership of two constituency executive officers.
It was early on Tuesday and the staff were about to settle down for the dayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work when the uninvited guests stormed the premises of the barely two-year-old assembly.
Some of the placards read, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You Must GoÃ¢â‚¬Â, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“We Are In PowerÃ¢â‚¬Â; and the noise of those who bore them attracted the staff who peeped through windows to behold what was happening.
The secretary of the Municipal Chief Executive told this paper that her bag was searched with some of the thugs finding places in the offices.
A certain Mariama, a City Guard, did not escape the wrath of the toilet seekers as she was heckled.
Some of the visitors, the secretary said, searched the office drawers and read office documents.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I tried to enquire from them why they were doing that one of them turned to me and asked which political party I supported and said they would ensure that they took over the assembly and that it was their party which was in power,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
The Coordinating Director, Kwamina Akwa was roughened up in his office and in the event, had his spectacles destroyed and his mobile phone snatched.
The director confirmed the incident but would not go beyond that; but his secretary, surprised at what happened, expressed dismay that such a thing was happening at a place which is barely two years old.
She added that it was amazing that the police were unable to make a single arrest, adding that staff were indeed frightened by the development.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some of us decided to leave our previous places of work for this place so we can be part of a success story; and now look at what is happening,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
A certain Thomas Adongo, chairman of a grouping in the Ashaiman Municipality condemned the action, describing it as unlawful.
He observed that the toilets in contention were a few years back handed over to some contractors under a special arrangement.
The arrangement, he lamented, was being derailed by the NDC elements at this time.
He appealed to President John Evans Atta Mills to intervene in the matter by having two key figures in the imbroglio talked to.
One of the features of the assumption of power by President Mills has been the seizure of public toilets across the country.
It would be recalled that the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area offices of the taskforce which oversees the maintenance of this part of Accra was descended upon by NDC elements who wanted to take over the place.
The man in charge asked the transfer to be decently done and through the AMA, insisting that he would not tolerate their action.
The group turned to a nearby toilet where they made away with the dayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sales.
The same scenes dotted some public toilets across the country, some with nasty aftermaths.
Many of the places of convenience are being manned by contractors under a special arrangement for an agreed period.
They are said to be goldmines and the NDC elements think with the swing in the pendulum of power in the country, they too should partake in the pie.
From Razak Mardorgyz, Ashaiman