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Uneasy calm in Techiman South as families of slain supporters call for justice

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There is uneasy calm at Techiman in the Bono East region as families of the NDC supporters gunned down by security personnel during the election collation exercise demand justice.

Residents of both political divides say fallouts of the just ended elections and subsequent shooting have destroyed the peace that existed between them for years.

The shooting at a collation center in the Techiman South Constituency claimed two lives and injured nine people.

Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor who spent some days in Techiman gauging the mood days after the shooting reports that the violence at the collation centre and shooting have drawn a wedge between supporters of the two leading political parties.

Some Police and military personnel fired into a crowd of NDC supporters at the collation of the Techiman South election results on December 8th.

Acting Bono East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Asumadu Okyere-Darko confirms two people died from that incident and nine people sustained various degrees of injuries.

One of the dead victims is 18-year-old Abdallah Ayaric, an apprentice in the street lighting business in Techiman.

One journalist who rushed him to a waiting ambulance says the vehicle was already full of other injured people from the shooting.

“I saw one guy lying down here. Blood was oozing from the nose and eyes. At that time he was breathing very slowly. So, I lifted him unto my chest. When he breathes, at the same time you could see blood oozing from the nose and the eyes. By the time I got to the ambulance, there were already about three people in the ambulance,” he narrated.

At Ayaric’s family home in Techiman, his father Yusif Amalo, tells Luv News he went to the collation center with him but returned without him.

“To walk with your child and realize within the next hour that he is dead is not easy. If he got sick or had an accident perhaps, you could come to terms with that,” he sobbed.

The shooting at the Bono Kyempim Hall collation center was sporadic. But the bullets that flew through the crowd took supporters like Yusif Amalo by storm.

“Voting was peaceful and nobody thought there would be violence afterward. Their guns were always pointed to the side of the NDC supporters but nobody ever thought the guns could go off in our direction, and into the crowd like that, because our hands were clean,” he said.

The family says it’s only justice that can reduce the pain.

“They shot my boy from the back of his neck. The family wants justice to prevail to serve as precedence. All who matter in this country should intervene and bring those culpable to face the law,” the visibly sad father of Ayaric told Luv News.

Bullets from an officer firing directly at the crowd could have been responsible for the death of another victim.

Mohammed Tawjudeen, 41, is a truck driver and a father of four, three girls and a boy. The eldest is fifteen years.

He is described as a calm, loving father with a deep sense of humour.

His father, Sadiq Alhassan and Mother, Hawah Musah have fond memories of him.

“When he visits me and I don’t have water, despite being married, he would fetch water for me. Sometimes he requests to wash my clothes,” a sobbing mother told Luv News.

In the video of the shooting, Hawah Musah is seen helping carry a motionless Mohammed at the collation center.

“His mouth was full of blood. When he breathed, blood would ooze from his mouth, ears, nose, everywhere. I shouted; they’ve killed my son!! They’ve killed my son!!” she told Luv Fm’s Erastus Asare Donkor.

Strangely, mother of victim Tawjudeen is not seeking justice.

“I give everything to God. We don’t need anything. I’ve lost everything, even if I’m given billions, my son will not come back. So, we bring our case before God,” she said.

Both Yusif, the father of Ayaric and Mma Musah, have reservations about events that occurred at the collation center in Techiman South constituency.

“It was all fun that day until the shooting occurred. NPP supporters chanted songs across the NDC side, there was no fight. So, if anybody says we were fighting, it’s a lie,” they noted.

Nine people sustained various degrees of injuries from the shooting but we were able to locate two of them; one of who is still on admission at the Wenchi Methodist Hospital.

Illiasu Sulemana was shot in the arm and had to undergo surgeries to replace broken bones.

He currently spots an arm wrapped in plaster of Paris with surgical metals sticking out of it in four different spots.

Abubakar Iddrisu is also recovering from a gunshot injury to the leg and can only walk with the aid of clutches.

Medical Coordinator for the Wenchi Methodist Hospital, Dr. Abraham Oman told Luv News, the two were referred from the Holy Family Hospital in Techiman.

The December 8 violent collation of Techiman South election results and the shooting have left a sharp division between supporters of the NPP and NDC who hitherto lived in peace.

Though the larger part of Techiman remains peaceful and calm, beneath it grows a simmering lack of faith and trust which threatens the peace.

“Techiman South is one of the peaceful constituencies. It’s different this time around because a northerner won the elections and they want to deny him the seat,” one resident told the news team.

“They blame NPP for the shooting but it was done by the security agents,” another said.

“We’ve never lost any life in any election here. It has started with this election but leaders should break the trend or else it will follow through subsequent elections,” an affected father told Luv News.

Supporters of the NDC in Techiman South believe their candidate, Christopher Bayere, has been robbed of victory and they anticipate a re-collation.

But the hierarchy of the NPP and NDC differ strongly on the subject.

At a recent collation of the Sene West parliamentary results, Dan Botwe of the NPP and Dr Kwabena Donkor of the NDC shared their views.

Whilst the NPP says there should be no re-collation, the NDC believe there’s precedence in the case of Banda constituency and re-collation should be made possible.

Affected families in the shooting who remain bitter say the issue will remain a sitting time bomb until justice reigns.

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