Aflao, the usually busy Ghana-Togo border town, yesterday morning became a scene of violence, confusion and bloodshed when a security officer shot a taxi driver, injuring him in the process.
Some youth of the town, who got furious about the incident, attacked the security officers.
Two vehicles with registration numbers GC 2954 Z and GS 2400-10, belonging to the Ghana Immigration Service, were dented and their windscreens smashed.
According to a police source, a taxi driver whose identity was not immediately known was allegedly shot in his back and abdomen by a Military Intelligence (MI) officer attached to the Immigration Service at the main Aflao Lorry Station. The driver is reported to be in a critical condition at the Volta Regional Hospital at Ho.
The military officer who fired the shot was said to be in a mufti but was part of the immigration officers who chased the driver with motorbikes. The paper gathered that officer had been whisked to Accra for interrogation.
DAILY GUIDE was told that after the incident, a local radio station started announcing that an immigration officer had shot a driver, a situation that angered the youth of the town.
Irate youth of the town were reported to have therefore stormed the main border check point to “teach the security personnel on duty some lessons” for shooting their colleague.
The police source explained that the youth, numbering over 30, stormed the main border with stones, cutlasses, cudgels and lorry tyres and pelted the security officials with stones, smashing the windscreens of the vehicles in the process.
They also burnt down the departure hall and the main office of the Immigration Service at the border post.
On reaching the main checkpoint, they blocked all roads behind them to ensure that security men would encounter problems accessing the place.
Immigration personnel were reported to have run for their lives as the angry youth approached the border. Some even reportedly removed their uniforms to escape the ‘ready-for-action’ youths. Their fears were however allayed when military and police reinforcement came in from Ho.
Tyres were burnt and all major roads blocked, bringing vehicular movements to a halt at Aflao.
Reports have it that the roadblocks went as far as Denu and lasted for about seven hours.
An immigration officer told this paper that the injured taxi driver attempted driving his vehicle, which had passengers on board, from Ghana to Togo, through an illegal route called ‘Beat 9’ but was stopped by the immigration officers. He however refused to stop for checks to be conducted on the vehicle and the passengers.
The officers therefore chased him on motorbikes to the main lorry station but on reaching there, a confrontation ensued between the officers and the driver whose colleagues joined in the scuffle.
In the melee, the soldier was reported to have fired some warning shots. As the taxi driver went on his knees to beg for mercy, he was shot in the lower abdomen and his back.
The incident further provoked the drivers and youth of the town who armed themselves to the teeth and gave the officers a hot chase to the border side.
The reinforcement team managed to disperse the youth. The youth allegedly moved to the residence of the immigration officers to burn down their houses but a timely security intervention prevented that from happening. Two suspects have been arrested to assist in investigations.
Volta Regional Police Commander Reverend DCOP David Nennyi Ampah-Bennin, who spoke with journalists, as at press time, said the situation had been brought under control, with vehicular movements resuming.