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Ashaiman: Military brutality will only fuel animosity – Former MP

Former Ashaiman MP Alfred Kwame Agbesi has waded into the military brutality which was meted out to the Taifa residents on March 7.  

The attack was described by Ghana Armed Forces as an intelligence-led swoop for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of 21-year trooper, Sherrif Imoro who was with the 3rd Infantry Battalion in Sunyani.    

Although the manner in which the young soldier’s life was snuffed has been widely condemned, the corresponding reaction from the military has not gone undetected under the radar of residents, political and traditional leaders as well as right groups.

Speaking to Joy News, the former MP who is a lawyer has described the military’s action as unwarranted and would only fuel animosity due to past experiences in the hands of soldiers.

“Based on our past experiences with the soldiers, there is already an existing animosity and what has happened will further deteriorate the relationship between us”

“Michel Camp which is the 1st Infantry Battalion (1BN) is a few metres from here and when this personnel are approaching retirement they come seeking for land at Ashaiman and is that how best they could have treated us as neighbours?,” he quizzed.

According to him, the 7th March scene at Ashaiman where armoured among other vehicles carrying armed personnel with helicopter flying over the area and assaulting literally torturing anyone they came across would leave permanent scars on the minds of residents.

Mr. Agbesi said harrowing accounts of victims and people fleeing their homes painted Ashaiman as though it were a war zone.

“Ashaiman is no combat zone and president Akufo-Addo as the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces can deploy the military to help in the Russia-Ukraine war where their skills will be much needed,” he angrily suggested.

Venting his spleen, the former legislator wondered if the approach of the Military High Command would have been different had the soldier lost his life at Kyebi in the Eastern region where the president hails from.

Alfred Agbesi like many others who were hard hit by what the town had experienced have been expecting an unqualified apology from president Akufo-Addo.

But Defence minister, Dominic Nitiwul has called for calm nerves.

The minister was speaking during a visit by the Defence and Interior Committee in parliament to the family of the late soldier at Ashaiman. .

“The president himself is very disturbed by the unfortunate killing of the young soldier. It only tells us that we have a lot to do as country in getting rid of people who think the only way to make money is by attacking others”

“You make money legitimately, the country will contain you otherwise it can’t contain all of us,” he warned.

He assured to talk about reaction of the soldiers.

“We will talk about the reaction of my men at another forum”

Dominic Nitiwul pleaded with the residents to let go.

“I appeal to the young people of Ashaiman that you share boundary with Michel Camp-1BN, live in peace with the men and women of the Armed Forces and Police Service. They should be your best of friends”

He was grateful to the police and intelligence agencies for swiftly arresting suspects in connection with the murder but wants justice served early.

“We know the wheel of justice grinds slowly but in this case we want it to grind very fast”

The Defence minister wants the death of Sherrif Imoro to be the last time an attempt will be made on the life of personnel regardless of the security agency they serve in.

Kwame Yankah

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