Adentan riots: Security expert laments poor crowd control by police

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Security analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning, has condemned the Ghana Police Service’s handling of riots on the Madina-Adentan highway on Thursday.

Dr Aning said it was unfortunate that the routine response by the police anywhere there are demonstrators is the use of force.

“One of the biggest challenges of the Ghana Police Service is that it has never known how to control crowds. Immediately there a couple of people gathered, who seems to be agitated the routine response is to use violence to use tear gas,” he condemned.

Dr Aning-PM

Photo: Dr Aning is Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research at KAIPTC

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Police on Thursday fired shots and tear gas at Adentan, a suburb of Accra, to control an agitated crowd protesting the death of a lady on the dangerous N4 freeway.

The highway has claimed close to 200 lives this year, deaths residents blame on a lack of footbridges, road markings and working traffic lights.

The crowd had gathered in front of the West African Senior School (WASS) to protest government’s inaction in fixing the footbridges and other amenities on the highway after the student of the school was knocked and killed by a taxi.

Photo: The crowd burned lorry tyres and blocked roads

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Police say its preliminary investigations into the rioting show that Police employed the appropriate riot control methods.

It admits, however, that “in the process, a boy of fourteen years was injured and was treated and discharged at the Nyaho Clinic in Accra. There is no record of any other injuries related to the riot control.”

According to the police, the taxi driver who knocked and killed the young lady has been arrested and is in police custody.

The statement urged the public and media, in particular to, “focus coverage on the safety of residents and road users in the area and also be circumspect in their reportage, cross, checking facts from the media centre set up at the Adentan Police Station…”

Although police are claiming they used adequate force to disperse the crowd, Dr Aning thinks otherwise.

“What happened yesterday is really not a surprise in terms of cars knocking down people and citizens getting angry. This is going to much worse because our public safety infrastructure has collapsed,” he said.

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He wants the law enforcement agency to apply better intelligence in crowd control.

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