From Alfred Adams, Takoradi
The seizure of public facilities, particularly toilets, in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis by supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), is gradually getting out of control.
The Chronicle can report that right after President Nana Akufo-Addo was inaugurated supporters of the party went berserk – as in payback time – demanding keys to various toilet facilities manned by their opponents – the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Information available to this paper indicates that the seizure of the toilets started in the Kwesimintsim constituency, where an Assembly Member led some supporters of the ruling party to take over the control of toilets in the area.
Some of the agents manning the toilets were injured in the ensuing struggle, after refusing to hand over the facilities.
The case is currently before the Kwesimintsim Police Command.
In the Takoradi Amanful area, the timely intervention of a police patrol team ensured that a near clash between irate NPP supporters demanding ownership of the Amanful public toilet and the operators was averted.
This was when the NPP supporters besieged the facility demanding the keys. However, on Monday, at about midday, the same group went back demanding the keys to the Amanful toilet, being manned by one Hajia Yatasu Muhammed.
This led to a misunderstanding and confrontation, resulting in one person being injured.
Confirming the story, Hajia Yatasu, in a telephone interview with this reporter, said she was on duty at the facility, when a group of NPP supporters came to her to demand the keys.
According to her, the group told her that they had come with their own operator to replace her (Hajia Yatasu). Insisting that she had a contract with the assembly that handed over the management of the toilet facility to her, Hajia told this reporter that she told the group she would not hand over the keys.
This led to a misunderstanding, leading to a fight between her and the NPP group, culminating in one lady, who was to replace her, sustaining an injury.
In other areas, reports reaching this paper indicate that it was an ugly sight as NPP supporters battled currently managers to seize toilets.
The Takoradi, Tarkwa, Sekondi, Essaman and Kojokrom public toilets, alleged to be manned by NDC supporters, have all been taken over by NPP supporters.
The Zenith Hotel toilet facility, manned by the Assembly Member for the Chapel Hill Electoral Area, was also not spared. Speaking in a telephone interview, the elected Chapel Hill Assembly Member, Mr. Wilson Kwofie, confirmed that the facility had forcibly been taken from him.
Considering the spate of seizure of public facilities, the Western Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) has issued orders to various District Commanders to effect the arrest of supporters who take the law into their own hands.
According to the police, no Ghanaian has the right to forcibly take over ownership of any public facility.
In a telephone interview with The Chronicle, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, Western Region Command, Mrs. Olivia Adiku, confirmed the order issued out to the District Commanders.
She said the police had met with various stakeholders to educate them on the procedure for taking over public facilities. As a result, anyone caught to have flouted the law would not be spared.