Riot police on Wednesday morning clashed with angry demonstrators at Bekwai, who were protesting against the results of the NPP parliamentary primaries in the constituency.
Several people including school children were injured by stray bullets and fumes from tear gas canisters fired by the police in their attempt to disperse the crowd.
Most of them, in the midst of the confusion ran and sought refuge in the Omanhene’s palace while intermittent gunshots and smoke from tears gas canisters continued to billow the skies in the town. The Bekwai government hospital, which is in the centre of the town was deserted as doctors, nurses and other health officials ran fo safety following the firing of tear gas into the hospital by the police in a desperate attempt to flush out some of the demonstrators who had sought refuge there.
Several people who were injured had to be rushed to private hospitals and nearby clinics outside the town due to lack of personnel at the Bekwai government hospital.The demonstrators burnt car tyres and blocked all roads leading to the town.
At the time of filing this report, the atmosphere in the township was tense with armed police patrolling the streets while most residents remained indoors for fear of their lives. Ten people had been arrested by the police and placed in custody.
Mr Owusu Bempah and Mr. Michael Ofosu Appiah, spokesmen for the demonstrators said they had already notified the police at Bekwai but they refused to give them the go-ahead.
However, Chief Superintendent Osei Ampofo Duku, Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, told newsmen that by law, a five-day notice should have been given before the demonstration but the organizers ignored this.
Supporters of Mr Joe Osei-Wusu, Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) who lost the Bekwai constituency primaries of the NPP on Saturday planned to demonstrate against the outcome of the results.
They alleged that the incumbent MP, Mr Kofi Adusei, had connived with some of the constituency executives to rig the elections in his favour. This, according to them, resulted in a situation where some unqualified people were selected as delegates to vote, which ensured his re-election.
The spokespersons said they had notified the National Executive of the party to nullify the results but they had not received any response.
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