The Ashanti Region Minister Simon Osei Mensah has taken responsibility for the deployment of soldiers to Ejura in the Sekyedumase district of the region on Tuesday that led to the shooting to death of two protesters and the injury of four others.
Many security analysts have described the deployment of the military men as inappropriate, saying crowd management and control are not the job of soldiers, but rather the police.
But Simon Osei Mensah has defended the deployment, saying it was the only option available at the time he took the decision.
“I did. Yes, I requested for their support as Chairman of the Regional Security Council,” the minister bragged, explaining: “I got Intel that after the burial of Kaaka, they were going to burn the police station including the two persons who were arrested. That won’t help us.”
Simon Osei Mensah claimed in an interview on Kasapa FM’s Morning Show ‘Anidaso’ that Ejura has been a notoriously lawless community since time immemorial, so the use of joint police and military intervention has always been the most effective response.
“I can say on authority that since 1992, 2020 was the first time we voted in Ejura without chaos and we didn’t use the police alone. We used the police and military.
“You can go into our archives and check. You can’t do the same thing every time and get different results. You can’t be effective in the area of security without being truthful. When the time comes for you to speak the truth, do so,” he said unapologetically as quoted by Starrfm.com.gh
The minister even commended the soldiers for a good job done, adding more people would have died.
“While they were chasing the water cannon, if the driver decided to go forward, you’d have seen the number of people who’d have been killed. I commend the driver who mustered the courage to reverse even when he was been chased because had he decided to go ahead, he’d have killed a lot of people.”
Social media activist, Ibrahim Mohammed, also known as Macho Kaaka was ambushed and brutalized by unknown assailants on Sunday, June 27 while returning from town on his motorbike, leading to his death.
After his burial at Ejura on Tuesday, the youth of the town thronged the streets to protest, but they clashed with armed soldiers who fired live gunshots into the crowd, killing two people and injuring four others.
Three suspects including the deceased’s brother who have been arrested by the police for investigation into their alleged complicity in the death of the popular activist were put before a court on Friday and have been remanded.
Macho Kaaka as he was popularly known, used Facebook to advocate for his community’s development before his death.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ambrose Derry has set up a three-member committee following a directive by President Akufo Addo to probe the widely condemned killings and submit a report to the government after ten days.