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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ghana: Sankore Under Siege

Disturbing reports trickling in from Sankore in the Asunafo South District of the Brong-Ahafo Region, indicate that residents of the area, especially those perceived to be supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party, are living in a state of fear as the security personnel detailed to maintain peace and order in the area have been tormenting and brutalizing innocent people.

According to reports newsmen gathered, the military personnel, with the full backing of the officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress in the region, have released a secret hit list containing names of some members of the NPP who helped the incumbent MP for Asunafo South, George Boakye, wrestle the seat from the NDC candidate, Eric Opoku, who is the current Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister.

Within the last couple of weeks, more than eleven NPP supporters have been arrested in the area under bizarre circumstances, where they were brutally assaulted by the security personnel before they were handed over to the police to be processed for court.

Two of such victims, Serekyi and George Sarpong, a.k.a. Joe Fela, who were arrested on September 3, were brutalized by three military personnel and were illegally detained for more than five days before they were taken to court. Two of the officers were identified as Sgt. Kalasi and Sgt. Alhassan.

The suspects were dispatched to the regional police headquarters on Sunday in a military car with registration number 38GA44. An eyewitness said Joe Fela was so weak that he could not walk after his ordeal, as the military had used wooden objects and other offensive objects to hit them on the waist.

DAILY GUIDE was further informed as at press time yesterday that the MP for Asunafo South, George Boakye, led some officials of the NPP to lodge an official complaint at the office of the Commanding Officer of the 3BN in Sunyani to call his men to order.

Our sources at the 3BN hinted that the MP and his party functionaries expressed their disgust at the unprofessional manner the military detail at Sankore were conducting themselves, as they had deviated from their core function to provide security to the ordinary people in the area.

Various interviews conducted by DAILY GUIDE at Sankore, Kukuom, and the surrounding communities in the district, suggested that the high-handedness of the military in dealing with the NPP supporters was as a result of the recent arrest of one Kwasi Adu, who had been on the police wanted list for some time. The suspected killer was flushed out from the Sakumono residence of the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister.

Kwasi Adu was about a fortnight ago smoked out from the bedroom of the Deputy Regional Minister in Accra, for attempting to escape arrest following his alleged involvement in the July 19, 2009 attack on NPP sympathizers by NDC thugs at Sankore, which resulted in the death of a 40-year-old evangelist, Kwame Nyame.

The community members have thereby attributed the arrest of the suspected killer to their current predicament, where the security personnel operating with ‘orders from above’ have subjected the young men to harassment and human rights abuses. They alleged that the security personnel have been “bought” by the top officials of the ruling party in the region, in order to carry out injustices on their political opponents.

Residents of the area have also accused top police officials in the region, and a section of the judiciary, of going to bed with the ruling party, as they allow NDC officials to interfere with their work.

They cited the latest arrest of Joe Fela and Serekyi; where investigators had to wait for instructions from an NDC guru before they could even start their interrogations.
Source: Daily Guide

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