Bloodbath looms in Kumasi over demo

General News of Monday, 16 February 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Dcop Kofi Boakye

Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, is currently sitting on a time bomb which could explode anytime from now if no concrete measures are taken by security agents in the area to halt the imminent danger.

This looming threat follows the decision of two rival pressure groups, Organised Youth of Ashanti (OYA), belonging to the NDC, and Movement for Change (MFC) of the NPP, to hit the streets of Kumasi on the same day—February 24.

The MFC wants to demonstrate against President Mahama and the NDC government for doing absolutely nothing about the erratic power supply in the country, also known as ‘Dumsor’, which is collapsing businesses.

They are also hitting the streets in large numbers on that day to kick against the government’s decision not to reduce petrol prices even though the price of the commodity has suffered a significant nosedive on the international market lately.

OYA, on the other hand, wants to hit the streets on that same day to declare their unflinching support for President Mahama for effectively steering the affairs of the state. The decision of the two pressure groups to demonstrate in Kumasi on the same day poses a serious security danger to Kumasi and for that matter all people living in the Ashanti Region and Ghana at large.

The Ashanti Regional Police Command has seen the danger that lies ahead but so far all efforts to curb the threat through dialogue have proved futile, as OYA and MFC seem adamant and are prepared to hit the streets on that day.

A close police source that spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity said the leadership of the two groups had parried away a suggestion by the police that they demonstrate on separate days for the sake of peace.

The police, the source hinted, made it clear to the groups that chaotic scenes could emerge in the city in the event that they (OYA and MFC) clashed during their demonstrations on February 24.

Surprisingly, the leadership of OYA and MFC insisted that they would hit the streets on February 24 regardless of the imminent security threat the police said their intended actions posed.

The source said both OYA and MFC had even accused the Ashanti Regional Police Command of taking sides in the dicey matter, a false accusation which the police have vehemently denied.

The source wondered why both parties (OYA and MFC) have turned deaf ears to the wise counsel of the police and are bent on demonstrating on February 24, observing that both OYA and MFC are proving very stubborn.

The police’s hands are tied since none of the two groups is willing to accept to go on demonstration on a different day aside February 24, the source said, adding that the police have therefore decided to allow OYA and MFC to demonstrate on February 24.

According to the source, the police would deploy more men on the day to police both OYA and MFC and also make sure that the two groups demonstrate on different routes to avert a possible clash.

The source disclosed that since the police would deploy more men for the two demonstrations on the same day, police presence in other critical areas in the city, including banks and other sensitive areas, would reduce and hoodlums could take advantage of it.

The paper learnt that some of the OYA members have seen the wisdom in the police’s suggestion that one of the groups should postpone its demonstration to a later date for peace to prevail.

These OYA members believed that their government (the NDC) is in power so in the event of any possible clash and bloodbath, the President Mahama-led administration would be verbally attacked by the public unjustifiably.

They therefore fully support the police’s proposal that one of the groups should postpone its demonstration. Unfortunately, their leaders insisted that they would hit the streets on February 24 regardless of the looming danger.

Meanwhile, Kennedy Kankam, the Ashanti Regional Organiser of the NPP, has sternly warned OYA not to try to disrupt MFC’s demonstration on February 24, saying that his group was prepared to match OYA “boot-for-boot.”

He said on Otec FM that MFC was the first to write to the police to hit the streets on February 24 and that OYA, surprisingly, also wrote to the police later on that they also wanted to hit the streets on that same day.

Kankam told the BNI, military, police and all other security agencies in the region about the looming danger that OYA’s infamous decision could create, saying, “…the security agents should act now to avert a possible bloodbath.”

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