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18.03.2009 General News

GPRTU chairman`s seat under fire

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There is an intense pressure mounting on the chairman in charge of the Accra-Kumasi number four branch of the Ghana Private Roads and Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Neoplan station, Mr. Paul Kwabena Badu to resign his post. Some agitated drivers who had been dismissed from the union some years back for gross misconduct, besieged the premises of the union at the Neoplan station last weekend with offensive weapons, demanding that the chairman steps down and render accounts.

But for the timely intervention of the police, who made some arrests, the situation would have gotten out of hand. Mr. Seth Kwaku, the spokes person for the agitated drivers alleged that they took the action because Mr. Kwabena Badu has refused to give proper account to the union.

He alleged that the chairman has over the past 8 years of staying in office not rendered any account, and the union offices has also never received any face lift.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kwabena Badu has rebuffed the allegations made by the drivers.

According to him, the drivers were dismissed based on their misconduct and have since lost their membership of the union, hence they have no reason to ask for his resignation or to render an account.

He recalled that after their dismissal from the union, they went on to join O.A transport, a private transport company based in Accra. He said they were then dismissed again for reasons he could not substantiate.

He said, they later came to plead with him to accept them again into the union. “I was there when they came to me to consider them to rejoin the union, but the executive body refused to accept them” he said.

When asked who he suspected to be the brain behind the agitations, the chairman pointed out that he was fully convinced that one Mr. Yaw Manfo, popularly known as Ewiase, a union member based in Kumasi and one Abigimah, an executive of the Ghana Police service.

Meanwhile, Accra File investigation proved that the police arrested the nine (9) dismissed drivers, of which four of them were bus owners.

A source close to the station told Accra file that the case would be transferred to the CID head quarters for further investigations. The members of the union have also said that all allegations leveled against their chairman is not true.

The spokesperson of the Union, Mr. Paul Ayitey told the media yesterday that Mr. Kwabena Badu has done so much for the union for the past 19 years, and by hook or crook, he still remains their chairman.

He said the chairman has bought 128 plots for every member of the union, and has registered them for the health insurance scheme, and has also bought two buses for the union. “He has done so much, we want to maintain him and we like him,” he said.

According to the station master of the union, Mr. John Ankomah, the IGP should intervene in this situation because it is getting out of hand.

He further urged the IGP, Mrs. Elizabeth Mills Robertson to be very vigilant because some of her men in the police service are in the fore front of some of the bad acts going on in the country.

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