22.12.2003 Sports News

Riders refuse to take part in competition for fear of police

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Wa, Dec. 22, GNA - A bicycle competition organised by the Upper West Regional Road Safety Committee was seriously sabotaged by a rumour that it was a ploy by the Police to arrest all riders without lights, breaks and other accessories.

As a result the registration and turnout was very low compared to similar competitions often organised by the National Sports Council. The rumour scared most of the riders as most of the potential competitors wondered why such a competition should be organised by the Police and not the National Sports Council.

One rider, who had participated in almost all the bicycle competitions in the Region, told the GNA that they did not understand why the police and not National Sports Council did the registration.

He said no amount of talks could encourage him to participate once the competition was organised by the Road Safety Committee with registration at the Police station.

Only nine persons turned up for the competition.

Mr Yakubu Adams, who came first, took home 50,000 cedis while Sule Issah and Richard Odonkor, who placed second and third received 40,000 and 30,000 cedis, respectively.

Competitors from the fourth to ninth positions each received a consolation cash amount of 25,000 cedis.

Mr George Anko-Bil, Deputy Regional Police Commander, advised the public to see the Police as friends in development and not as enemies. He described the rumour as an unfortunate lie peddled by unpatriotic citizens to sabotage the forward march of the Committee.

''We shall continue to do our good works for the people to see the truth from lies in this Region,'' Mr Ankobil said.

Mr Ankobil said the Committee had carried out numerous education programmes throughout the Region and urged the riders to avoid accidents particularly during the Christmas season.

He said the Police had started prosecuting traffic offenders and expressed the hope that that would subsequently reduce the spate of accidents on the roads.

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