A MASS of people in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region, were seen traveling to their hometowns and possibly other regions in the country yesterday to partake in today’s presidential and parliamentary polls.
Virtually all the bus terminals in the city, for instance, Kejetia, Asafo Market and Metro Mass at Abrepo Junction were inundated with a lot of travelers during the paper’s visit Tuesday morning.
The mass movement seemed to have overwhelmed the operators of the various bus terminals, as inavailability of buses to convey the voters to their various destinations, became a huge challenge.
Some of the people told DAILY GUIDE that they had been in long queues for several hours, and that from all indications, their chance of getting buses to their destinations looked very slim.
NPP Rescues Voters
The Ashanti Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which was perhaps aware of the challenges that the voters were facing, quickly organized buses for them to travel to their various destinations free of charge to exercise their franchise.
Meanwhile, business activities in Kumasi and its environs were very dull Tuesday morning. Most of the shops in the city were closed and so the atmosphere could be likened to a holiday.
The paper gathered that most of the shop owners either decided to stay at home and relax ahead of today’s polls or they had traveled to their hometowns or other regions to vote.
Security Men Deployed
Some huge military vehicles were seen on the streets of Kumasi Tuesday afternoon. The sudden arrival of the vehicles, which looked a bit scary, became the topic for discussion among residents of Kumasi.
Some said the vehicles had been brought to scare the people from going out in large numbers to vote, but others also argued that they (vehicles) clearly showed the preparedness of the security agencies to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, several buses which were fully laden with policemen and personnel from other security agencies, were also seen plying the streets of the city Tuesday afternoon.
Before their departure from the police headquarters in Kumasi, COP Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, charged the security personnel to act professionally to make the polls peaceful.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi/dailyguideafrica.com