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06.02.2009 Politics

Agbogbloshie victims want security

Some residents of Agbogbloshie in the central business district of Accra who were attacked during the recent violent confrontation in the area have called on the government to either provide them with security or help them to relocate.

They claimed that since the attacks began last Tuesday, their assailants had been issuing death threats to them.

The residents made the call when the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Ohene Ntow, visited the area yesterday. Reporters were shown dwelling places that had been destroyed as a result of the clashes.

Yesterday, the Daily Graphic reported that tension, believed to have been heightened by political and ethnic differences, had escalated into serious conflict at Agbogbloshie, resulting in the destruction of 30 dwelling places by rival youth groups there.

Three people sustained head injuries, while three others believed to be the ring leaders of the assailants were placed in police custody for their alleged involvement in the violence. The report of the attacks was corroborated by the Accra South District Police Commander, Mr Ebenezer Kweku Asare.

One of the victims of the attacks, Muhammed Suleman, who alleged that his assailants destroyed his shack, along with four other adjoining ones and took away eight of his goats, said, "Although I have lost all my belongings, they are still threatening me."

He said although he had lived at Agbogbloshie for more than 10 years, he no longer felt safe and called for police or military protection or relocation outside the area.

During the visit by the NPP General Secretary, a woman who alleged she was attacked, together with her four-year-old daughter, said the assailants vandalized her room, broke into her two suitcases and made away with her savings of GH¢250, her television set, a sound system, cooking utensils and documents.

The woman, who declined to mention her name for fear of further attacks, said she had been living in constant fear and could not sleep at night since the attacks and called for police and military protection.

Another alleged victim, Yakubu Andani, said he was organising an outdooring ceremony for his one week-old daughter when the assailants came and disrupted the ceremony, destroyed all the food, pastries, sound system, as well as chairs and tables.

A grasscutter farmer also narrated how the attackers, after destroying billboards in front of his home, took away 24 of his animals.

Some of the people who allegedly suffered at the hands of the assailants could not tell their stories because of the fear of being attacked again if they were seen with the media.

Briefing the media, Nana Ohene Ntow called on President J.E.A. Mills to make good his promise to be President for all Ghanaians, adding that with the NDC in power, no Ghanaian should live in fear.

He described the situation as "appalling and disappointing" and wondered how, in this day and age, political opponents could be hounded out of their living areas and called for sufficient security for all Ghanaians from the state.

He assured the NPP supporters in the area of the firm support of the leadership of the party and urged them not to hesitate to report any attack on them to the security agencies.