About 41 members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, (GPRTU) allegedly from Kasoa in the Central region, and some regional executives of the union, have been arrested by the Central Regional Police Command.
The arrest followed a tip off to the police that the suspects were planning to attack some members of a new cooperative group in Mankessim. The GPRTU members allegedly had the support of the central regional chairman of the GPRTU, Kwame Kuma.
Briefing the media on the issue, the Mfantsiman Municipal Commander, Supt Emmanuel Odonkor, indicated that he and his men mounted a road block at dawn on Thursday when they were tipped off. Around 7am, they arrested the members who were travelling on three buses, one private car and a pick-up believed to belong to Mr. Kuma.
The suspects were then transported to the regional police headquarters in Cape Coast for further investigation, where it was discovered that they were traveling to Mankessim to attack members of a new cooperative union. According to the municipal commander, the cooperative union members were formerly members of the Mankessim branch of the GPRTU until Mr. Kuma’s refusal to make them executive members of the branch compelled them to break away.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the cooperative members, who are sympathizers of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), wanted to use their influence in the party to take the positions of Mr. Kuma and some members of the Mankessim GPRTU away from them, but they met stiff opposition from Mr. Kuma, who is believed to be a New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizer. Supt Odonkor intimated that several meetings were held when the members broke away to form the new group, adding that at a Municipal Security Council meeting, the Municipal Chief Executive of Mfantsiman, Kweku Hayfron, advised the group and the GPRTU to smoke the peace pipe but to no avail.
He revealed that it was Mr. Kuma who came up with the idea to travel to Mankessim to deal with the members of the cooperative union. The Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP Stephen Andoh Kwofie, stated that the suspects’ action was a criminal one and that they would be charged for attempting to cause riot and processed for court as soon as possible. Mr. Kuma, who was given the chance to talk to the media, debunked the allegation that he was the brain behind the whole incident.
According to him, he is a law abiding citizen and not a criminal, adding that he and his executives were adults and would not plan such a diabolic act. He added that the whole scenario was politically motivated to intimidate him and his members who oppose the group.