The Sunyani Police last Wednesday arrested 46 people at New Dormaa, a suburb of Sunyani, for embarking on an unlawful demonstration against the stalled work on the Sunyani-New Dormaa-Kotokrom road project that was started about three years ago.
According to the Bono Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong, the demonstrators were arrested for unlawful assembly, assault of a public officer and causing unlawful damage to two police vehicles, with registration numbers GP 3757 and GP 4939.
Some of the agitated demonstrators took custody of one of the policemen despatched to the scene to ensure order and threatened not to release him until the police freed one of the demonstrators.
The peace officers had to fire warning shots to disperse the mob, who pelted the police with stones and other objects, leading to some of the demonstrators sustaining injuries.
In the process, the windscreens of two police vehicles were smashed.
The police, however, succeeded in freeing their colleague from ‘custody’.
The police, who eventually brought the situation under control, managed to arrest 52 people, including women and students.
Chief Inspector Oppong said after a screening exercise, six of the suspects were released.
According to him, the rest would be prosecuted.
Nature of road
Even though the Sunyani-New Dormaa-Kotokrom road is a dual carriageway, only one side of the road has been completed and is currently in use.
According to a resident who refused to give his name, the situation had resulted in many fatal accidents and “we decided to demonstrate to draw the government’s attention to the terrible situation, so that the contractor will come back to site to complete work on the other portion of the road”.
He said they would continue to demonstrate until the government paid attention to their concerns.
According to him, they were provoked to embark on the violent demonstration last Wednesday after a vehicle had knocked down a resident at about 6:45 p.m. the previous day.
“That led the youth to block the road on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday morning we decided to embark on the protest,” he added.
The blocking of the road inconvenienced motorists, who had to stay in traffic for long hours.