Agbogbloshie Murders: The Inside Story
Emerging details about what happened before and during the Agbogbloshie murders of last Tuesday have cast doubts about the veracity of the earlier versions, especially from the Police.
DAILY GUIDE investigations indicate that while initial reports suggested that the attack took place in the market, the truth is that the crime scene was rather outside the trading facility with the murder taking place in front of the Agbogbloshie Police Station as the security agents themselves sought cover.
Having been chased out of the market by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Taliban Boys shortly after the assumption of office by President John Evans Atta Mills, a number of the victims who are sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), returned to their various hometowns in the Northern Region to allow cool off period.
They had earlier sought shelter at the NPP campaign headquarters before their homeward trip to places like Yendi, Tolon, Kumbungu and other Dagbon towns but could not bear the dislocation indefinitely and decided to return to their places of business at the Agbogbloshie Market expecting that their aggressors would let bygone be bygone.
On Friday before the fateful Tuesday, a representation of the returning Agbogbloshie dislocated persons sought audience with some officials of the NPP at the party's headquarters.
They were told about the impending emergency conference of the party and that audience would be granted after the event.
On the Monday after the party's emergency conference at the Trade Fair Site the young men met some NPP officials and stated their intention of going back to their original businesses.
Some of them have invested in such businesses as selling water from large poly tanks, private public places of convenience and organizing boys to buy scrap metals in the city's suburbs.
The party officials after listening to their story advised them to contact the Police before making any move in the direction of returning to their businesses.
Armed with the advice, they turned to the Jamestown Police Station under whose jurisdiction the Agbogbloshie Police is; where they met the District Commander.
Considering the seriousness of the subject, the Commander reportedly led the young men to the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander.
The team led by an executive member of the NPP, a certain Prince Kamel, narrated their mission to Ms. Rose Bio-Atinga.
The lady asked why they could not seek accommodation and alternative occupation elsewhere, adding that if they were displaced NADMO was the place to go.
She warned that should their return to the place spark trouble she would order their arrest wherever they were.
The leader of the delegation Prince Kamel was disappointed with the Commander's reception which he found lacking in decorum and wanted to challenge her but was prevailed upon not do so by other officers.
Before she virtually walked them out of her office, six or so of them had actually gone to the facility on a reconnaissance mission knowing little that death was lurking nearby.Their confidence that nothing untoward could happen was drawn from the meeting of their leaders with the Regional Police Commander.
Before the reconnaissance team could accomplish its mission, word had reached the Talibans who quickly picked their weapons including firearms and turned on the returnees.
An eyewitness as reported by DAILY GUIDE recalled how she overheard one of the attackers say in Dagbani, “If they have returned, we won't spare them.”
The NDC Talibans, now spoiling for battle, turned the weapons on their colleagues, who unprepared for such eventuality, took to their heels and headed for the nearby Agbogbloshie Police Station.
They were received by the Police personnel who asked them to sit in there but the reception was to turn into a death trap as the rampaging 'Taliban forces' pounced on their hapless victims.
When the few policemen on duty beheld the surging crowd of machete wielding “warriors”, with some firing weapons, they themselves got frightened and virtually pushed out those who had taken cover under their shelter.
With the police unable to offer them protection the victims rushed out with one giving up the ghost close to the corridor of the Police Station, having suffered multiple cutlass and wounds.
The rest took other directions in the general area of Sikkens with one particular victim catching the attention of passersby and onlookers.
He was being pursued by some twenty persons until he got to the wall of a cold store which he tried to scale but fell backwards.
Now an easy prey, his pursuers descended on him with such savagery that within a short while they had snuffed the life out of him as though he were a game.
A staff of a nearby office, shocked by the spectacle, said, “I came out for fresh air and saw murder.”
The scale of savagery and perhaps a call for reinforcement led to the arrival on the scene by a detachment of cops. It was a little too late as too much blood had been spilled but their arrival expedited restoration of a semblance of order.
Before their arrival, the gory spectacle of the dead as they were strewn on the vicinity, attracted people from around the place.
DAILY GUIDE sources said no arrests had been made contrary to earlier claims by the Interior Minister, Cletus Avoka, that two persons had been nabbed.
The Minority in Parliament last Thursday gave out seven names as potential suspects. They were Sule, Mohammed Ayatu, Sahana, Awal Voulina Naa, Sule Nabiya, Abdalla Rasta and Abdalla Say.
By A.R. Gomda