THE COMMANDER of the Suame Divisional Police Command, Chief Superintendent Afriyie Sakyi was attacked during the counting of ballot papers for the December 7 polls at the Breman R/C Primary and JHS polling station at about 6:00pm last Friday.
The attack resulted in a clash between armed security men who were present to ensure law and order and hundreds of voters who had amassed at the polling station to observe the counting of ballots.
At about 7:00pm when the paper got to the scene, relative calm had been restored at the polling station with Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, MP for Suame and the Assemblyman for Breman Central Electoral Area, Obeng Poku, trying to calm tensions between the police and residents.
Briefing DAILY GUIDE, the Assembly Member, Obeng Poku aka Poza said the skirmish started just a few minutes after counting of the ballot papers at one of the two polling stations at the school had begun.
The scuffle, according to eyewitnesses, was triggered by a young man identified as Akwasi Yeboah, 30, who rudely asked the police commander to reposition himself for him to clearly see how the ballot papers were being counted.
When Chief Afriyie Sakyi ignored him, the chap reportedly pushed the Police boss, which compelled the latter to order his arrest.
The paper gathered that people started throwing stones at the police commander and his men when they arrested the young man and attempted to push him into a waiting police vehicle amidst beatings.
In the melee, stones hit the police commander’s new official vehicle with registration number GP 3468, smashing the windscreen and the glass of one of the doors.
The scene turned chaotic and marred the peaceful electoral process after the 15-man police-cum-military reinforcement that was called in to contain the situation, started firing warning shots to disperse the crowd.
Kwame Stephen, an eye witness said the sporadic firing of shots by security agents was so alarming that people including voters who were in a queue at the other polling stations to exercise their franchise started running helter skelter.
He said the frightening nature of the scene denied voters who had been in the queue for hours the opportunity to cast their votes as they fled the scene.
Kwame Stephen alleged that the police hit many people who challenged them with the butt of their guns while others got wounded in the process of fleeing the scene. The wounded were rushed to a nearby health facility to seek medical attention.
Meanwhile, an attempt by the Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the Assembly Member for the area, Obeng Poku, to secure bail for the suspect was unsuccessful as the police took him into custody.
Obeng Poku however assured the residents everything would be done to secure bail for suspect Akwasi Yeboah on Saturday, December 8, 2012.
Even though the clash delayed counting of ballot papers, scores of anxious voters who fled the scene returned later and waited until the results were announced.
Generally, voting in the Ashanti Region was peaceful in spite of pockets of disturbances in some constituencies.
Source: James Quansah/Daily Guide
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