The editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako has described the military intervention in a youth protest at Ejura, which led to the shooting and killing of two people, as an “overkill”, which could have been avoided.
A joint military and police force shot and killed two protesters as they marched in anger on Tuesday, 29 June 2021, a day after the mob killing of local social media activist Ibrahim ‘Kaaka’ Mohammed who was calling on the government to #FixTheCountry.
Four other protesters also got injured in the clash between the demonstrators and the security personnel.
Speaking on the subject, Mr Baako said: “I can’t reconcile myself with the military intervention”, explaining: “I know, generally speaking, we have the principle or philosophy when the police or internal security is difficult for police to handle, the military are brought in, but there are procedures on how to bring the military in and for what purpose, there are lots of restrictions and limitations and all that…”
“I don’t believe there was a sufficient base to bring in the military”, he said on radio Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
“I think it was an overkill and apart from that they are not trained for crowd control. Their rules of engagement are different. They don’t have the same skills [like the police]. The expertise is not there. This is a completely avoidable intervention”, he argued.
“In my candid opinion, this whole tragedy was completely avoidable. It doesn’t help the image of Ghana. It’s just not right and ought to be condemned outrightly and I’m doing so although I’m not fully briefed on all the circumstances, so, somebody can take me on for that and I’m OK with that but I can’t stand it and I don’t think it’s right…”
Mr Baako made his comments on Accra-based Peace FM.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti regional police command has commenced investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding the violent clash.
In a statement, the police said its preliminary investigation shows that following the burial of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kaaka at Mempeasem cemetery at Ejura on Tuesday, some irate youth blocked the main Ejura Atebubu road, thus, impeding traffic flow.
The police moved in with military reinforcement to quell the situation but the irate youth charged on the security officers with all manner of implements including firearms, clubs, machetes and stones.
The security officials fired into the crowd to disperse the angry mob, who failed to retreat but rather massed up in all corners.
The death and injuries were recorded in the process.
However, security has been reinforced to ensure total stability.
The regional command has also taken over the investigation into the murder of Kaaka and has appealed to anyone who has credible information to share with the command at the Central Police Station, Kumasi or call 0299207770.
“The strictest confidentially is assured,” the police said.
The command also appealed to everyone, especially the youth of Ejura, to remain calm and also called on the traditional and opinion leaders to call for restraint to avert an escalation