The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, yesterday boycotted a crunch meeting with aggrieved members of the Zongo Community at the Central Mosque in Kumasi at the eleventh-hour due to security reasons.
The police chief and scores of senior police and government officials were supposed to calm the tempers of the Zongo youth who have been rioting for the past two days due to the fatal shooting of seven residents suspected to be armed robbers.
Few minutes to the Central Mosque, the IGP and his team realized that the charged Zongo youth had blocked the road and set tyres ablaze, amidst the singing of war songs and threats to shed innocent blood.
The Zongo youth have been protesting since the police killed seven people, calling for the head of the Ashanti Regional Police Commander.
Some of the Zongo youth were seen holding stones of different sizes, while others were allegedly wielding locally manufactured pistols and other offensive weapons as if they were going to war.
Mr. Asante-Apeatu ordered his men to leave the place peacefully due to the conduct of the irate youth.
Earlier reports suggested that the IGP and his team were chased away by the angry youth, who allegedly pelted them with stones.
Other reports indicated that the IGP was about to address a crowd of Muslims at the Central Mosque when the youth hurled stones at him to cut short his speech.
The IGP’s entourage, which included the Zongo Minister, Abubakar Sadique and the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, did not enter Central Mosque.
Setting the Records Straight
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, who is the head of REGSEC and part of the IGP’s convoy, told DAILY GUIDE that nobody chased the IGP and his team away as being speculated.
According to him, the IGP, who detected that the tension was high at the place, asked that the meeting be rescheduled.
The minister explained: “We were almost at the venue where the IGP, sector ministers and I were supposed to address the rampaging Zongo youth to calm down and also assure them that the shooting incident would be thoroughly investigated, but few minutes to the Central Mosque, the venue of the crunch meeting, we realized that some of the Zongo youth had blocked the roads and were burning car tyres which clearly indicated that tension was high at the place.”
IGP Meets Otumfuo
Earlier in the day, the IGP and his entourage met Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in a closed-door meeting at the Manhyia Palace where he briefed him about plans to address the concerns of members of the Zongo Community.
The IGP informed Otumfuo Osei Tutu that he would hold a meeting with the aggrieved persons at the Central Mosque to help find lasting peace in the Zongo communities.
As at the time of filing this report, the IGP, the Ashanti Regional Minister, other ministers and security officials in the region were in a crunch meeting at the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to stop the riots in the Zongo Community.
Mr. Osei Mensah declined to disclose security measures to DAILY GUIDE, saying that definitely the problems in the Zongo areas would be addressed soon.
Shooting of Robbers
Seven males, who are indigenes of Zongo communities in Kumasi, were gunned down by the police, who claimed they were armed robbers.
The police asserted that the seven people were planning to launch an attack on a mining site, but people in the Zongo Community have since debunked the claims.