13.05.2005 General News

Fall-out from the impending Kumasi “Wahala” Demo

By Palaver
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... He moves from Kumasi to Sunyani

... Suspected of being too “comfy” with NDC

The Senior Police Officer at the centre of the Committee for Joint Action (CJA)-organised Kumasi “Wahala” demonstration storm has been transferred from the Ashanti Region to the Brong Ahafo Region.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Opare-Addo, a lawyer by profession, battled the organisers of the “Wahala” demonstration which the CJA had originally fixed for Thursday May 5, 2005 but which he argued could only come off on Thursday 26th May 2005, due to security and manpower constraints.

The standoff between the two sides lasted till Wednesday 4th May 2005 when ACP Opare-Addo, acting in accordance with the provisions of the Public Order Act, 1994, Act 491, finally secured a Kumasi High Court order confirming that the demonstration should take place on Thursday 26th May 2005, an order that the CJA “Wahala” organisers agreed to comply with.

ACP Opare-Addo, 'Ghana Palaver' has learnt, has long been under suspicion for being too “comfy, comfy” with the NDC, and it is suspected that his previous transfer from Accra, where he was Head of the Interpol Division, to Ashanti-Mampong, as Divisional Commander before his eventual transfer to Kumasi as the Deputy Regional Commander, all had something to do with his suspected loyalty of being a closet NDC sympathiser.

ACP Opare-Addo's cause was not served much by his very stern and professional approach to his duties during the recent Asawase bye-elections which was won overwhelmingly by the NDC.

He it was who ordered the detention of NPP pick-ups that were found to be carrying guns, cutlasses and other offensive weapons. When a high-powered NPP delegation, including National Chairman Haruna Esseku, Ashanti Regional Chairman F. Anto, and Information Minister Dan Botwe went to the Regional Police Headquarters to angrily demand the release of the vehicles, ACP Opare-Addo stood his grounds and insisted on having the vehicles kept at the police station until investigations had been completed. He was however subsequently prevailed upon to release the vehicles to the NPP.

ACP Opare-Addo's fate must have been finally sealed in the evening of Wednesday 4th May 2005 after he had secured the court order postponing the “Wahala” demonstration from May 5 to 26, 2005.

He granted an interview to Joy FM radio station in Accra from his Kumasi base, but instead of using the opportunity to chastise and berate the CJA organisers of the “Wahala” demonstration, he rather chose to describe the court order as “a victory for democracy” and the CJA organisers as “reasonable people” who had all been his friends for a very long time, and that he had always known that he would be able to reach a compromise with them, so he was not surprised that they had accepted the court order in good faith.

On the same programme, he swore that any counter-demonstration against the “Wahala” demonstration on the agreed date of 26th May 2005 would not only be illegal; it would be over his dead body.

This was clearly too much for “somebody up there” (apologies late Justice Dixon Kwame Afreh) to take, so almost immediately, the orders went out for ACP Opare-Addo's transfer.

However, in order to disguise the clearly partisan, discriminatory and victimising nature of the transfer, it was put within the broad context of a general transfer of command within the Police Service in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

ACP Opare-Addo assumes his new position at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region at the end of the month. His position in Kumasi is to be taken by an NPP loyalist, DCOP Adu-Poku, until recently based at the Presidency at the Castle.

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