Police in the Brong Ahafo Region are hunting for the former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atebubu, Sampson Owusu Boateng for allegedly inciting last Tuesday’s clashes in the town that led to the burning of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party office.
Three people were arrested after clashes in Atebubu-Amantin on Tuesday after some supporters of the former DCE of the area, Sampson Owusu Boateng, and those of the Member of Parliament for the area, Sanja Nanja, clashed over Owusu Boateng’s dismissal from office.
His angry supporters subsequently set fire to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) party office. The Police have indicated that there had already been some simmering tension among some of the youth in the area even before the removal of Owusu Boateng.
Speaking on Citi Eyewitness news, ASP Tawiah, threw more light on what transpired that day and then went on to accuse the DCE of instigating the youth in the area to the act of arson at the party office after he was given a letter to vacate his office.
He explained that some police arrived at the party office to quell the tensions but youth in the area grew more restless hurling insults and curses at the police.
ASP Tawaiah stated that, given the available policemen’s assessment of the situation, they felt an official vehicle on the party compound was in danger of being vandalised so they secured the vehicle and took it to a safer location. But the police men however returned to the party office only to find it ablaze.
Police not at fault ASP Tawaih was keen to stress that this was not a failing on the part of the policemen present because they could not have known what would have transpired and they also didn’t even have the requisite manpower to control the angry youth.
According to ASP Tawiah, “The whole issue came of all of a sudden. We didn’t know people were planning to do this and riot control teams are available in the capitals but not in the districts.”
He also pointed out that they quickly made some arrests after the act of arson on the party office saying, “We are not a failure but we have arrested some and we are processing them for court and we will see what happens there.”
Dismissed DCE on the run
ASP Tawiah further said that the police were holding the dismissed DCE responsible for what transpired adding that if the displaced DCE had been at the scene, they would have arrested him for instigating the attack. He however added that the police are unaware of the whereabouts of Sampson Owusu Boateng.
“If he was around, we would have arrested him too but he has taken to his heels and we don’t know where he is but we are looking for him… We will prosecute him if we get him because he condoned and connived. He instigated.”