Bekwai on fire as youth pelt police with stones
Bekwai in the Amansie East Constituency of the Ashanti Region has been boiling over since morning as a section of New Patriotic Party youths went on the rampage, pelting the police with stones after they were refused permission to demonstrate.
Police reinforcements from nearby Obuasi and Kumasi managed to break the demonstrations with volleys of teargas and warning shots after the youth defied the police order not to embark on the demonstrations.
Police had said the demonstration, notice of which was served only on Monday, failed to meet the mandatory five-day notice demanded by the Public Order Act.
The irate youth however ignored the police cautions and started gathering in groups early morning, shutting down the Bekwai market and allegedly torching some properties, including furniture at the NPP party office. They are also said to have smashed the windscreen of a police vehicle with stones.
Joy News correspondents at Bekwai say the confrontation has resulted in many injuries as the police fire teargas into any public gathering to disperse them, forcing many youths to flee town or seek shelter at the palace.
Mothers are also withdrawing their kids from schools in anticipation of the situation worsening.
The demonstration is against the retention of the sitting Member of Parliament, Kofi Adusei Poku as the New Patriotic Party parliamentary candidate for the December 2008 polls.
The youth accuse him of failing to deliver development projects to the constituency for the almost eight years (two terms) that he has been in Parliament and were hoping that he would lose the party's primary.
However, Adusei Poku survived the poll last weekend as he won the mandate by just one vote, beating his challenger, Joe Osei-Owusu, Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority by 70 votes to 69 at the primary held at Kokofu.
Author: Isaac Yeboah