Some Ssangyong mini bus drivers who ply through the Sawla-Wa Road have accused police personnel detailed at the various barriers of extorting monies from them and torturing drivers who usually refuse to meet their demand whenever they are asked to pay money at the check points and barriers. This according to the drivers may escalate into a serious brawl between them and the police at the barriers if not checked.
“We are telling you to inform the police commander that, he should warn his men, should they continue to torture us, we will one day retaliate and the outcome will not be good for all of us, is the uniform that we respect if not those tormenting us naturally, cannot beat us, some we are even stronger and older than them” a driver fumed.
They further stressed that, despite the police extortion, yet they are usually detained for hours all in the name of police escort creating room for other passenger lorries especially buses, to take advantage over them as those vehicles are never stopped for police escort, adding that, if the police think that, the buses usually have their own security, why not allowing the mini buses to follow the long buses while they discussed with the police officers in the long buses to take care of all the vehicles.
“What they do demand from us is not the problem, sometimes they will collect the money and still detain you for hours, so when you know that they will collect your money and still detain you and you refuse to meet their demand (money), they start to torment you, just last week, a colleague of us was beaten severely because he refuse to give the police Ghc5.00” they stated.
However, the drivers commended the police for the steps taken in coming out with the idea of police escort noting that, the intervention has reduced the rate of armed robbery on the Sawla-Wa stretch of the Wa-Kumasi road, but added that, the escort should cover all manner of commercial vehicles to ensure that, others like the long vehicles are not given the opportunity over the Ssangyong mini buses to elude the escort points, revealing that many passengers nowadays prefer the services of the long buses than the mini buses, because the long buses do not stop or delay at the escort points.
Meanwhile, the police are yet to comment on the issue.