Tensions were high at the central business area of Mankessim in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region when military personnel stormed the town to ease vehicular movement after taxi drivers blocked the road with their cars, leaving motorists stranded in gridlock for over an hour.
The drivers who ply the Mankessim-Saltpond and Mankessim-Esuehyia lanes of the Accra-Cape Coast stretch of the highway parked their vehicles in the middle of the road, making the movement of cars impossible.
The situation left passengers from both the Cape-Coast and Accra ends of the stretch stranded throughout the entire period.
Attempts by the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Kenneth Kelly Essuman, the Municipal Police officers and other officials to persuade the drivers to clear their vehicles on the lanes failed.
The Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, has for some time now enforced a regulation aimed at decongesting the Mankessim business enclave, especially around the ‘New Market’.
The drivers have recently been accusing the police at Mankessim of harassing them through what they describe as “senseless arrests”.
The drivers vowed they would not clear the road until one of their colleagues reportedly arrested by the police was released.
One driver who spoke to Citi News said, “What we want the NPP government and Municipal officials here to do is that they should allow us (drivers) to do our work.”
In the course of the confusion, the military men appeared and began lifting some of the taxis from the road while they also overturned some of the cars.
In the ensuing operation by the soldiers, they broke the screens of some of the taxi cabs.
Again, individuals who attempted to take shots of the activities of the military men had their mobile devices seized and destroyed.
Meanwhile, calm is returning to the town as most cars are now moving in and out.
By: Joseph Ackon Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana