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Regional News of Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Source: GNA

Commercial drivers in Takoradi on strike

Some commercial drivers in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in the Western Region on Monday embarked on sit-down strike to protest against alleged police harassment, leaving many commuters stranded.

The “trotro” drivers at Kojokrom and Sekondi transport terminals refused to move their vehicles and prevented their colleagues who wanted to work to do so, which resulted in a scuffle.

When the Ghana News Agency interacted with some of the drivers in the twin-city, they complained that some police personnel allegedly take bribes from them even when they had not offended traffic regulations and had genuine documents covering their vehicles.

Patrick Quayeson, a driver, said when they refuse to give the police money, they are arrested and arraigned before court.

Reacting to the development, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, Western Regional Public Relations Officer, said the police gave a two-week ultimatum to all commercial drivers in the Metropolis to renew their vehicle particulars and put their cars in good condition.

She said the ultimatum had elapsed, yet some commercial drivers had not obeyed the directive.

ASP Adiku said although it is the drivers’ civil rights to embark on strike, the police would continue to execute their mandate to ensure law and order to minimise road crashes.

She said the Regional Police Command met some transport union executives in the metropolis on Sunday July 7, and discussed about the intended exercise. She said the transport union executives assured the police of their readiness to cooperate.

Therefore, the Police Service is surprised that some “trotro” drivers decided to embark on a sit-down strike.

ASP Adiku said the police would hold another forum with transport union executives and drivers to address their concerns to ensure the smoothness of the exercise.

Asked about alleged collection of bribes by some police personnel, she said the Police Command had warned their staff to desist from collecting any gift or money from drivers.

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