Ghana: President Survives Road Crash
Ghanaian President and chairman of the African Union, Mr. John Kufuor, escaped unhurt when a car crashed into his vehicle yesterday, rolling it over several times.
The crash came just as auto spare parts traders in the capital, Accra, shut their shops in protest against what they say is unfair competition from foreign investors in the sector.
THISDAY checks revealed that most of the investors in auto spare parts business are Nigerians.
Presidential Press Secretary, Andy Awuni, said Kufuor appeared healthy and composed, but underwent medical checks in the presidential palace to ensure he was not at risk.
Witnesses said a red car coming from the opposite direction struck the president's vehicle at a major intersection near the Kotoka International Airport in the capital city, Accra.
"The car finally rested on the sidewalk and the people around helped his security men to pull him out. The president came out holding his head," James Kobinah, an electrician working nearby, told Reuters.
Awuni said police were investigating the cause of the accident and would question the driver of the red car, who was being treated in hospital. Some other persons involved in the accident were also given medical attention.
"The picture is not very clear about the accident," Awuni said. "It's a bit strange for the car to run into his car directly."
At present, the president is reported to be in good health and already back in his seat at the Castle, Osu.
Awuni, who described the accident as a strange one, said only two cars were involved, but added that it was not clear how many people might have been involved.
He could also not tell the whereabouts of the driver of the other vehicle.
Explaining why the accident appeared strange, he said usually outriders would be fending off all junctions, which they did, "nevertheless this car came and just ran into the President's car and of course nobody expects to see an accident so sometimes you don't get to see how it happens."
Elsewhere in Accra, shop owners at Abbossey Okai where vehicle spare parts are sold, closed their shops yesterday.
A number of foreign investors are reportedly operating in the retail sector which is reserved for Ghanaians, except for investors who are able to make investments above the amount of $300,000.
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The action is being lead by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA).
The National Organiser of GUTA, Mr. Joseph Obeng, says they are determined to fight their cause and ensure their members remain in business.
The traders are meeting their leaders on Tuesday November 14, 2007 at the Opera Square in Accra to deliberate on the next line of action.