Some of the angry traders marching to the assembly with Cudgels
BUT FOR the timely intervention of the security agencies, the boss of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA), Ibrahim Baidoo, would have been physically assaulted by some angry youth made up of yam and charcoal traders in the area.
About 200 irate traders besieged the assembly yesterday morning to protest against their eviction from the tollbooth area at Ashaiman, along the Accra-Tema Motorway, where they had relocated their business activities after they were sacked from the Mandela Park by the Ashaiman Divisional police.
Work at the assembly came to a standstill, with most workers abandoning their offices for fear of being attacked by the armed youth who wielded pieces of stick, machetes and other dangerous tools.
A National Service personal at the assembly who was only identified as Martin, had two of his tooth removed when a piece of stick was allegedly used to hit his mouth for attempting to prevent the mob from destroying equipment belonging to the assembly.
A military officer also had his share of the attack as he was physically beaten by the mob; his rifle was seized.
The angry traders invaded the premises of ASHMA and allegedly assaulted staff of the assembly as well as some customers who visited the place to transact business.
Properties of the assembly, such as plastic chairs, tables, doors and windows, were destroyed. The side glasses of the Coordinating Director’s Ford Explorer were not spared in the rampage, which lasted not less than 10 minutes.
They purportedly attempted breaking into the office of the MCE, where he was said to be hiding, but the effort didn’t succeed after the invaders had noticed the presence of the security agents.
The objective of the action, according to the leaders of the traders, was to express their displeasure to the MCE for allegedly being instrumental in their removal from the tollbooth area.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE at his office, Mr. Ibrahim Baidoo explained that he had information that the angry youth were gearing up to come and demonstrate at the assembly over their eviction that morning.
Mr. Ibrahim Baidoo
‘This morning the taskforce went there to evict them from the motorway area around the tollbooth, where they have been selling yam and charcoal. They threatened to come and demonstrate at the assembly but I thought it would be a normal demonstration where I would take advantage to speak to them further after a series of meetings I had held with them over the same issue.
‘I was in a meeting at office when I heard about the demonstration, with some invading our corridors and throwing stones. I quickly called in the police and the military to the scene.’
Meanwhile, the Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) has held an emergency meeting with the leadership of the irate youth to resolve the matter.
By Vincent Kubi, Ashaiman
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