There have been a violent reaction by some youth of Salaga in the newly created Savannah Region following the naming of Damongo as the regional capital. The irate youth have burnt down the head office of the ruling New Patriotic Party, as well as tore down signboards of party functionaries to protest their loss of hosting the regional capital.
Videos of the violence making the rounds on social media have the youth setting fire to the office amid shattering glass windows, while others still hurled rocks at the building in attempts to raze it. Onlookers also had their phones recording the destruction.
Reports say that the announcement of Damongo as regional capital by President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, was met with mixed reactions with majority of the people approving the announcement.
The protestors however contend that Salaga was more deserving of the honour because it has better facilities fit for a regional capital than Damongo.
According to the reports there has been widespread approval of Nalerigu as the regional capital of the newly created North East Region, also announced on Tuesday after official ceremonies at the Jubilee House in Accra.
Salaga disturbance will be treated as crime – Minister condemns
Northern Region Minister, Salifu Saeed, has said rampaging youth that torched the office of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Salaga South on Tuesday will be dealt with according to law.
The youth became angry following the selection of Damango as the regional capital of the newly created Savanna Region. They had wanted Salaga to be selected as the regional capital instead.
Salifu Saeed, who has been appointed by the President as the caretaker minister for the newly created North East and Savanah regions, said razing down billboards and setting fire to buildings are strictly criminal.
“The security [personnel] are on the ground and by [Wednesday] I am going to hold a REGSEC [Regional Security] meeting in the afternoon…and those who are destroying properties we are going to be treated this as a criminal matter,” he told newsmen.
He said although snippets of agitation were expected ahead of the selection of capitals for the newly created regions, Tuesday’s violence was unacceptable.
“If you have your concern, we have leaders there…so they needed to address the issue properly. The methodology they used was not right,” the Minister condemned.
He said although calm has been restored, chiefs and youth groups have been contacted quell the agitation among the youth.
Displeased by the President for selecting Damango instead of Salaga as the capital of the Savanah Region, the rampaging youth went on a rampage.
They argued that the people of Salaga South showed faith in the NPP by voting the party’s parliamentary candidate, Salifu Adam Braimah as Member of Parliament.
They say the choice of Damongo which voted for a National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate Adam Mutawakilu, does not reward the peoples’ faith in the NPP.
Roofing, fridges, windows, satellite dish and computers are among the many things destroyed by the fire.
Although there was police personnel present, they could hardly stop the angry youth.
Attempts by firefighters at the scene to douse the flames were also thwarted by the angry youths.
An eyewitness said pickaxes were brought in by the irate youth to pull down the building.