March 20, 2023

Minister for Defense Bingab Aduna Dominic Nitiwul has called for residents of Ashaiman and the military to learn to leave together when the Committee of Defense and Interior and the Defense Minister visited Ashaiman over the military brutality that occurred in Ashaiman causing huge public outcry.

According him, this is not the first time that there have been issues between the Ghana Armed Forces (GAM) and the residents, and noted that the development suggests that there is a fundamental problem that needs to be resolved because the military and residents of Ashiaman share boundary.

Again, all over the world, the military finds the people in communities they find themselves as friends, and criminals never come to such communities because of the presence of the military.

It will be difficult for people to come in to commit crime in communities that have the military presence; they are safe communities.

“We would look into the issues and make sure they are dealt with properly. The military high command has accepted that the decision to take a swoop in both Ashaiaman, Ashairman New Town and Official Town were sanctioned at the highest level by the Military. They also added that it was intelligence led; it means part of this swoop was in planning for a long time. We do not do intelligence in two days. If you look at their statement, they did say that they said something’s were done but that should not have been done”.

The Minister noted that, he needs to listen to the residents themselves and not only take report from the committee, military or the police and he did listen to the lawyer who spoke for the residents. “I heard him mention specifically instances what has happened, what did not happen; I have taken my time to glance through the books to see some of the pictures and some of the police statement that was put there”.

He recounted that he has gone through four conflicts 1981, 1991, 1994 and 1995 so he knows the effect of conflict; he was involved in four major conflict in Ghana, “so I know what it means to be in a conflict situation and I know what it means when the police and military are operating”.

Again, I know it and I have experienced it like the chairman of the committee said, we should all ensure that the laws work if you are complaining that the law does not work due process should have been used; make sure that the law works that is why I would say to all of us here we should find a way of protecting each other, it does not matter if you are police civilian or military.

Ghana is the most peaceful in West Africa today as I speak the military and police needs civilians, same way civilians needs military and police, we should find away to ensure that all of us gel together.

“I believe there are young person’s here, if they have the opportunity they will want to be serving in the military, let us ensure that the people of Ashaiman benefit more from the military, whether it is recruitment, protection, whether its ordinary jobs like fixing of roads use the military to do that more and be friends with the military and they would do that for you; that is why I say you and the military would go to market together – what we are doing is a fine balancing act”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/