Madina Chiefs Blast Police

The Madina Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Paul Ayittey has been accused of applying unprofessional measures to manage the recent mayhem which erupted at Madina, a suburb of Accra last week.

Reacting to the police action following the commotion, the Madina Zongo Community Council of Chiefs, Madina East Council of Ulamah and Coalition of Madina East Youth Associations accused the police of using brute force when options were available for the operation.

In the course of the operation of the police, the people of Madina in their joint statement, pointed out that one of them slapped an 80-year-old woman because she was allegedly not forthcoming about the whereabouts of a suspect they were hunting.

A 15-year-old boy, they added, was hospitalized at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after suffering gunshot wounds on his head. His chances of survival according to a doctor, they stated, are slim.

'The police onslaught on the entire community, invading households, ransacking personal properties and brutalizing inhabitants cannot be justified,' they stated.

Last week the police moved in when the youth of the Madina Zongo area laid claim to a space which the Faith Baptist Church School claimed was theirs.

The whole issue, they stated, must be investigated, adding that the school premises, as reported, was not the venue of the demonstration but rather on the open community space far away from the school.

The mayhem, according to them, was prompted by a premeditated plan by the Madina Police to take on the community youth, who according to them had assembled to present a petition to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).

It was in the midst of this that the police, they claimed, unleashed their arsenal on them, firing teargas and live bullets.

The youth of the area had before the incident being supportive of policing.

The land in question, according to them, was part of a government acquisition for a housing project by the now liquidated Bank for Housing and Construction.

Some individuals, when the project could not take place, started acquiring the place as the church, according to them.

In 1988, they went on, the traditional chiefs asked the Land Commission and the Land Valuation Board to halt dissipation of the land and sought immediate return of the undeveloped portions to the La-Nkwantanang Stool.

The community, they claimed, are enjoying the blessing of the Nkwantanang chiefs and want to maintain it as public property and not private.

By A.R. Gomda