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24.10.2008 Education

Bizarre death of Kongo SHS Headmaster triggers violence


KONGO, a predominantly farming community in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, was last Tuesday thrown into a chaotic state of mourning and rioting, when a Bawku-Bolgatanga bound Nissan Urvan bus knocked down two teachers of the Kongo Senior High School, killing one, and severely injuring the other.

Soon after the accident, the villagers, including students of the school, reacted violently by digging about 16 ditches across the road, to prevent vehicles plying the road from overspeeding.

Briefing reporters at the Regional Police Headquarters, the Upper East Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Alhaji Mahama Hamidu, said the accident occurred when Raymond Ayinbire Adanzabra, acting Headmaster of the Kongo Senior High School and another teacher, Clement Dagbamah, were riding on a motorbike, with registration UE 3421 Y, from Kongo to Bolgatanga.

While they were still within the Kongo township, the Urvan bus with registration AS 8199 C, hit them from behind, dragged them from the right lane to the left, leaving their legs badly mutilated.

The victims were rushed to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital where their legs were amputated. Mr. Ayinbire died shortly after the amputation, while his co-teacher, Mr. Dagbamah, is still on admission.

According to DCOP/Alhaji Hamidu, when the report reached him, he quickly rushed his men to the scene to restore calm, but the presence of the police rather angered the local people, who were wielding stones, machetes and other dangerous weapons.

The Regional Police Commander said while he was being diplomatic in handling the situation, by appealing to the chief of the area, and opinion leaders to calm tempers, the youth were also rioting and hurling stones at his men.

In the process, the rear windscreens of his official car, and that of the Regional Coordinator of the Road Safety Commission, Mr. Alex Ayatah, were completelysmashed. A police patrol vehicle also had its front windscreen smashed.

Some police officers were not also spared, as some of them were hit by stones. DSP Richard Appiah of the Kongo Police Station sustained some injuries, and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Four rioters were arrested with their implements and put in the police custody. Their names were given as, Agondah Roger, 22 and Bangin Raymond, 17 all students. The rest were Morjin Nbugre, 30, a farmer and Azon, 18, a private laboratory assistant.

The four have been arraigned before court, despite interventions by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam, Moses Asaga, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate, Boniface Gambila, to have them released.

Meanwhile, some villagers told this reporter that they were subjected to severe beatings by the police officers, who did not spare even women and children.

They contended that their violent and immediate reaction to the accident was as a result of several lives, which had been lost over the years within the township, under similar circumstances.