Police in the Ashanti Region yesterday beefed up security at the Tamale lorry park at Alabar in Kumasi to avert an imminent bloody clash between members of the Cooperative Transport Union (CTU) and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
About 40 riot police officers – mobilised from the district and the regional commands – were deployed to the scene as early as 3:00 am to forestall a possible violent clash.
In March this year, the two transport groups, which are battling for control of the park, violently slugged it out, resulting in the injury of five people, including a woman who was passing by.
It took the police several minutes firing gunshots and using teargas to break up the feuding factions that pelted each other with stones, forcing shops to close for business.
Members of the CTU and the GPRTU, who are made up of private commercial vehicle owners, drivers and their mates, are said to be aligned to ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) respectively.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ken Yeboah, said aside their political differences, the police suspect the dispute to be between Abudus and Andanis.
He indicated that the police would be compelled to arrest and prosecute anyone for public order offences if the solution being found by city authorities was not adhered to by the actors involved.
Members of the GPRTU have criticised the police for failing to enforce a putative ban on the operation of the lorry park after the March 2, 2017 clash.
Niendoo Alhassan, Communication Director of the local GPRTU, said the police action was unusual and implied favouritism for the CTU members.
But ASP Juliana Boateng, Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, rejected the allegation that officers had dealt with one of the parties in a heavy-handed manner.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi