The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, has proposed the relocation of Sodom and Gomorrah as a permanent solution to the perennial violent clashes in the Agbogbloshie area.
He said the congested nature of the area made it a fertile ground for the breeding of miscreants and criminal elements who became a nuisance to public peace.
The IGP made public the position of the Police Administration against the backdrop of a bloody confrontation that occurred between the Dagomba and Konkomba ethnic groups in which a life was lost, with scores of others sustaining gunshot and machete wounds.
Mr Asante-Apeatu made the proposal at a press conference held at the Police Headquarters in Accra yesterday after a visit to the scene of the clashes by some government and top security officials.
He gave an assurance that the combined military and police force that had been deployed to the Agbogbloshie area was on top of issues, adding that "extensive patrols and robust mechanisms have been put in place to protect public peace".
"The police can confirm the death of a 27-year-old man (name not known) and eight others who sustained injuries and are responding to treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
"One of the injured persons has recovered and is assisting the police in investigations," he added.
Visit by officials
Meanwhile, the high-powered delegation that visited the trouble zone earlier yesterday included the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery; the Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, and the National Security Minister, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, along with the IGP.
The team held discussions with the feuding factions and urged them to smoke the peace pipe.
Mr Dery asked the two groups involved in the violent clashes to cease fire and use due processes to settle any outstanding issues, instead of resorting to the use of offensive weapons.
He urged the leadership of the two factions to collaborate with the security agencies to ensure that lasting peace was restored to the area.
He also directed the factions to make official complaints to the police for the law to be followed to address issues that required legal attention.
A violent confrontation between the Dagomba and Konkomba ethnic groups at Agbogbloshie last Tuesday threw the slum community into a state of insecurity, necessitating the beefing up of security in the area.
It took the intervention of security agencies to avert what could have been a free for all and a blood bath.
Meanwhile, there is uneasy calm at the slum after last Tuesday’s clashes that resulted in the death of one person and injury to scores of others last Tuesday.
More security personnel from the Special Force Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Ghana Police Service have been deployed to the area to protect lives and property, while strategic measures are being taken to restore total peace.
Meanwhile, two persons who were in possession of guns and wearing amulets and talismans on their bodies were arrested in a swoop by the security forces at dawn yesterday.
One of those arrested was identified as Alhassan Zakariah, 22, but the identity of the second person could not be established.
When the Daily Graphic visited the slum community around 8 a.m. yesterday, it was observed that the main entrances to the place had been blocked by the security personnel.
The sporadic gunshots and wielding of machetes that characterised the bloody confrontation last Tuesday had been curtailed by the security personnel, while efforts were being made to deal with the pockets of violence that emerged.
The Konkomba Yam Market, the main source of livelihood for the residents, had been cordoned off by the security personnel.
The Accra Regional Police Operations Officer, Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, gave an assurance that the security forces would do everything within their mandate to ensure that no further violence was visited on any member of the public.
“We have adequate police and military personnel to undertake patrols, while some static checkpoints have been mounted at vantage points to monitor and control motorbike inflows and suspicious behaviours.
Chief Supt Ofori said the security forces would continue their operations in the slum community, stressing that “it is such operations that have resulted in the arrest of the two persons who were in possession of weapons”.
Source: Daily Graphic
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