Three drivers got injured when the police fired rubber bullet gunshots at them, to disperse a crowd, during a scuffle with the law enforcement personnel at Kpone, in the Eastern Region.This followed a sit-down strike by members of the Kpone branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The action of the drivers, numbering about 100, resulted in hundreds of passengers, who travel from the Kpone township to Tema, Manhean, Kpone Barrier, Shanghai among others, stranded.
However, other drivers forced passengers to alight from vehicles of colleagues, who flouted the directive of the Kpone branch of the GPRTU.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, the trustee to the Interim Management Committee of the Kpone Drivers Union, Seth Nyarko, said the strike was to protest against the bad nature of roads in the area.
He said the roads from Tema Community 1 through to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) road, Aluworks, Fuel Trade, Chase Petroleum to Kpone were in a terrible state.
He said drivers or vehicle owners spent a substantial amount of money to maintain their vehicles, and efforts to get the city authorities to fix the roads proved futile.
Mr Nyarko explained that the action was not a demonstration and was confined to the Kpone lorry station, and with placards which read, ‘Fix our roads’.
He said while the drivers were positioning the placards at vantage points, other people who were not members of the union joined the action.
Mr Nyarko said this led to a misunderstanding between the drivers and the police, and the security personnel fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, and in the process three persons sustained injuries.
He said all three persons had been treated and discharged.
Mr Nyarko said a meeting had been scheduled between the drivers and the Kpone Municipal Assembly to be facilitated by the Kpone District Police Command to find an amicable solution to the problem.
However, calm had been restored and the vehicles are back on road.
The Crime Officer for the Kpone District Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Herbert Sosu, condemned the strike by the drivers, describing it as illegal because the police were was not notified, and it infringed on the rights of other road users.