Tamale, September 21,--- Mercenaries have invaded Tamale forcing butchers not slaughter their animals from the abattoir or sell meat at the meat shops at Aboabo and the old market. The brandish their guns at the security agencies deployed to restore law and order.
The mercenaries are said to have come from Bawku in the upper east region and Diare and Tolon in the Northern region. Some are said to be Liberian mercenaries who carried out the invasion and murder of the Dagbon king in March 2002.
It is alleged that one Mahamadu Mpahafor, who the butchers protested against him managing the new abattoir hired the mercenaries to ensure that those who opposed him do not sell their meat at the meat shops. Alhaji Tanko NPP Tamale constiyunecy chairman, Mr Adoo, the vice president's campign manager in Northern region and Mpahafor were seen distributed AK 47 rifles at various places in the Tamale municipality. The security forces are aware and they know where the arms are kept. Their inaction is because the pepetrators are alligned to the NPP government.
Last Thursday, there was a stand-off between the mercenaries and the police forcing the police to retreat. The military was called in and they also decided to carry out their operation at the wrong place. All residents of Tamale are aware that the armed mercenaries are housed at Aboabo, but the soldiers decided to go to Sakasaka to attack the butchers under siege.
Since last Thursday, the mercenaries have taken positions at the meat shops and have threatened mayhem should any person dare to disarm them.
At a meeting with the regional security committee over the weekend, Mpahafor is said to have warned the regional police commander that he would seek his transfer if he dares arrest any of the mercenaries. He alleged that powerful people in Accra were aware of what was happening in Tamale.
The aim according to observers is to prevent the lections taking place in Tamale. The people of Tamale have just been free after thwo and half years state of emergency imposed on them after the murder of the Ya and about 40 others.