The Sefwi-Wiawso police, on Thursday morning, acted swiftly to avert a possible bloody clash among members of the Sefwi-Wiawso branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) over allegations that the current chairman of the Union had overstayed his term of office.
Some members of the Union, who were opposed to Mr Adu Kwasi, the current chairman, for staying in office for over 17 years, brandished clubs, cutlasses other deadly objects and barricaded the chairman’s office at Sefwi Dwenase, in Sefwi Wiawso with lorry tyres and a heap of sand.
The incident scared most of the passengers and traders in the station, who had to flee the scene, disrupting the day’s business activities. The peeved members vowed to use violence to force Mr Adu Kwasi to resign his position, however, the timely arrival of the police calmed tempers and some of them disarmed, but those who remained adamant were dispersed with warning shots.
A GPRTU member told the Ghana News Agency at the scene that for the past 17 years that Mr Adu Kwasi had been in office, he had not achieved anything to promote development within the Union. “Rather his leadership has brought disunity among members”, he alleged.
According to him their constitution allows a democratically elected member to stay in office for four years but could seek re-election and voted for irrespective of the number of years the person had stayed in office. He said they felt that Mr. Adu Kwasi could influence other members to vote for him on the next election, which has been slated for March 2011 and “we decided to resort to this rioting to kick him out of office”.
He admitted that until the constitution is amended there was the likelihood that the sitting chairman would win every election “but we do not want him again, his term is long overdue”.
Mr. Adu Kwasi could not be reached for his comment. However, DSP Raymond Erzuah, in charge of the Sefwi-Wiawso Police confirmed the incident to the GNA at his office and said one locally manufactured gun was retrieved from one of the rioters, in addition to clubs, cutlasses and other deadly items.
DSP Erzuah said, investigations had begun, to arraign the perpetrators before court on charges of rioting and assault among others. GNA