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29.05.2007 Social News

"STC was cause of robbery' - Passengers


Passengers on board the Intercity State Transport Company (ISTC) bus on its way from Kumasi to Bawku that was attacked on Wednesday have accused the company of being the cause of the robbery.

They said that had the bus departed on the scheduled time printed on the ticket the incident would not have befallen them.

Recounting their experiences to the GNA in separate interviews, most of the victims said the robbery even started right in the STC yard in Kumasi.

Miss Jane Dorgbetor, who lost all her academic certificates, passport, mobile phone and an unspecified amount, said she brought an advanced ticket for the luxury bus service for 140,000 cedis on Monday with departure scheduled for Wednesday at 1100 hours.

She said on Wednesday they waited till 1200 hours when an announcement was made that the luxury service could not be provided and were offered an ordinary bus service at 1400 hours.

Miss Dorgbetor said 30,000 cedis was refunded to them instead of 40,000 cedis since the fare for the ordinary service was 100,000 cedis.

"When we questioned the cashier over it, she told us that it was an order from above".
"So you can see, they started robbing us at the STC Yard till the armed robbers came for the final kill at the Nangodi forest. "You can imagine how much they made out of the over 50 passengers that boarded the bus," she said.

Mr. Issahaqu Seidu said their worries were further compounded when the bus broke down at Fufulso, Damango Junction, where they spent over an hour for it to be repaired to continue the journey to Tamale.

He said at Tamale, they spent over an hour again for the bus to undergo servicing, but at Wulugu, the drivers detected that the fuel had finished due to a leakage in the fuel tank.

Mr Seidu said in all they were delayed for over six hours and if the bus had left in a very good condition and on time, the incident would not have happened.

A businessman on board the bus, who wants to remain anonymous, said he lost over 20 million cedis, 3 mobile phones, some business documents and was beaten severely when he requested that his SIM cards should be returned to him.

Moro Abugri said he fell into a gully and broke his left hand when he tried to escape.
Mr. Kofi Owusu-Asante, Garu-Tempane District Electoral Officer, said passengers were made to undergo a similar treatment at Kumasi on Thursday.

He said the luxury bus service was changed to an ordinary bus that had just returned from Tamale at 1400 hours.

Mr Owusu-Asante said the bus was sent to the Oforikrom workshop for servicing but it broke down near Suame roundabout.

He expressed regret over the treatment being meted out to travelers to the northern part of the country.

Mr Owusu-Asante said it was high time STC management sat up to offer efficient services with better buses to save commuters the stress they endure when traveling on STC buses