The Coalition of Civil Society Against Political Vigilantism has said the security agencies in Ghana must not be allowed the use guns to intimidate Ghanaians to become silence on issues of key national interest.
In the statement signed by its President, Mr. Eben Kwaku Fanuku on the killing of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kaaka and two other at Ejura in the Ashanti Region of Ghana said “The voice of the ordinary Ghanaian should not and cannot be stifled with guns or any kind of weapon by any of the security forces or a joint team.”
“The Coalition condemns the use of the police and the military as a tool to commit such atrocities against ordinary Ghanaian citizens.” – He said
According to him, “Freedom of speech is a basic human right enshrined in the 1992 constitution of Ghana and no individual or group of individuals from the Executive, Legislature Judiciary, Police and Ghana Armed Forces should be allowed to subvert it.” adding that “From the brutalities in the Ayawaso West Wagon by elections, to the 7 innocent citizens that were killed in the 2020 general elections, the security of our fatherland is on the decline with every new incident.”
He stated that “The Ejura shootout would furthermore fester the growing mistrust of the Ghana Police, Armed Forces and the National Security by Ghanaians which can force people to take up their own security in their own hands by possibly taking up small arms and weapons in the name of protecting themselves.”
For him, “It is a basic and core mandate of the government of Ghana to protect the lives and properties of its citizens especially the ordinary Ghanaian. IT IS A basic RIGHT not a reserved PRIVILEGE.”
Ibrahim Mahamed a social activist and a member of the #FixTheCountry Campaign and Economic Fighters League was attacked in his home last week by unknown persons. He was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where he passed on whiles receiving treatment.
On his burial at Ejura, irate youth took to the street demanding justice but clashed with the joint Military-Police team causing the death other others with about nine injured.
Read the full statement:
30th June 2021
CCSAPV CONDEMNS EJURA KILLINGS CALLS FOR PROSECUTION OF PERPETRATORS.
The Coalition of Civil Society Against Political Vigilantism, in no uncertain terms, condemns the gruesome murder of Ibrahim Mohammed, a.k.a Kaaka, the opening of fire into a crowd of protestors, and subsequent killing of two protestors who were coming back from his burial on Tuesday, 29th June 2020.
Mohammed Ibrahim, popular known as Kaaka was a social media activist and one of the #FixTheCountry” foremost advocates was gruesomely attacked by two unknown assailants in the early hours of Saturday 26th June 2021 by striking his head with objects till he became unconscious. He later died on Monday 28th June 2021 at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. The murder of Kaaka and the subsequent opening of fire into a crowd of protestors in the aftermath of his burial is impunity that should be frowned on by all Ghanaians from the Presidency to the lowest-ranked son or daughter of this soil.
The manner in which the joint security team of the police and military conducted themselves was an abuse of power and office. It is important to note that under the circumstances Kaaka was murdered, it was just natural and inherent that the youth in Ejura will register their displeasure in various forms: on social media, picketing, and demonstrating. In an attempt to quell or de-escalating the tension and unrest that was brewing amongst the indigenous, particularly the youth, the joint security have managed to escalate the situation through their professional negligence and the gross mishandling of the situation.
The Coalition condemns the use of the police and the military as a tool to commit such atrocities against ordinary Ghanaian citizens. The voice of the ordinary Ghanaian should not and cannot be stifled with guns or any kind of weapon by any of the security forces or a joint team. Freedom of speech is a basic human right enshrined in the 1992 constitution of Ghana and no individual or group of individuals from the Executive, Legislature Judiciary, Police, and Ghana Armed Forces should be allowed to subvert it. From the brutalities in the Ayawaso West Wagon by-elections, to the 7 innocent citizens that were killed in the 2020 general elections, the security of our fatherland is on the decline with every new incident. The Ejura shootout would furthermore fester the growing mistrust of the Ghana Police, Armed Forces, and the National Security by Ghanaians which can force people to take up their own security in their own hands by possibly taking up small arms and weapons in the name of protecting themselves. It is a basic and core mandate of the government of Ghana to protect the lives and properties of its citizens especially the ordinary Ghanaian. IT IS A basic RIGHT, not a reserved PRIVILEGE.
HOW THE CRIME AND INSECURITY SITUATION ESCALATED TO ITS PRESENT STATE.
On Tuesday 15th June 2021, a bullion van carrying an unknown amount of cash was ambushed by armed robbers on motorbikes at Adedenkpo, a suburb of James Town in Accra. This heinous crime left in its wake the death of Lance Corporal Emmanuel Osei, the police officer escorting the van, Afua Badu, a vendor and a bystander, the injury of the bullion driver who missed death by a hair’s breadth and currently responding to medical treatment and two tellers of Mon-tran, the company whose money was being carted, whom against all odds managed to escape the gruesome assault unhurt, albeit receiving treatment for the trauma and shell shock in a hospital.
This is the umpteenth attack on a bullion van (which is nothing but a woefully ineffective makeshift bullion van at best) by armed robbers or unknown gunmen in a space of a year; the last one was on 2nd March 2021 when a bullion van belonging to Cal Bank was robbed in broad daylight in Accra. I can almost confidently opine that robbing bullion vans has become a new specialty and an untapped oil field for hardened criminals in Accra. Comme d’habitude, people have started blaming Sasabonsam, the nation’s perennial villain and nemesis for our negligence and incompetence. Maybe this time, we have found the guilty parties to apportion the blame of “you should have seen this coming, you should have read in the signs” in a typical Ghanaian post mortem analytic fashion.
In a related development, the Ghana Police Service who have once again, needlessly lost a young, bright, and promising member, has reacted to the issue as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has directed the Director-General, Criminal Investigation Department to take over investigations into circumstances leading to the killing of the aforementioned police officer and the vendor bystander during the 15th June bullion van attack. A press release signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shiela Abayie- Buckman stated that crime scene experts have visited the scene and are going through the necessary procedures to aid in the investigation. The statement also stated that the IGP, James Oppong- Boanuh has reminded the Association of Bankers to provide well-fortified armored bullion vans for carting currencies by the end of June 2021 as earlier agreed with the Ghana Police Service. Isn’t this sermon by the IGP so old, over-preached, and overhead by the Association of Bankers already in the wake of the too many bullion van attacks in recent history? Does Jonah the Prophet need to resurrect and forewarn the Bank of Ghana and the Association of Bankers that they would always put their workers, the police, and the taxpayer’s hard-earned cash in harm’s way if they continue carting their monies in wack or makeshift bullion vans (which at their very best, are no bullion vans at all) with schoolboy police security escorts?
Does the Ghana Police Service, the bona fide law enforcement agency need Napoleon Bonaparte’s will to enforce a very basic, simple, sensible, logical, and compulsory arrangement or apparatus that would guarantee the safety of the precious lives of their members and that of the general public by extension? Ponder over the following seemingly rhetorical questions. Who watches the police as they watch the bullion van? Who protects the policeman or policewoman that protects the “make shift bullion vans”? As rhetorical as they may seem, the answer is actually, nobody! Imagine there was an army of fully armed police personnel and an armoured vehicle tracking the makeshift bullion van behind, would the outcome be the same as nemesis struck? Now that’s rhetorical!
What we must know is that the security situation in Ghana did not denigrate to its doldrums by happenstance, neither did it happen just overnight, it has been in a downward trajectory since January and has been a wave of crime after crime after crime. It has been telling a story to the security set up who perhaps have n that they have not been following with keen interest. It had its handwriting scampered all over the place, we should have seen it coming, we should have read the signs.
On 4th February 2021, an ambulance carrying a pregnant woman in labour from the Akuse Government Hospital to the Koforidua Regional Hospital was shot by a group of eight armed robbers at Aseseso near Adukrom around 1;30am when they claimed to have mistaken the ambulance’s siren for a police siren. The ambulance’s driver was badly injured in the process as the robbers went ahead to rob all the occupants of the vehicle. A police team that rushed to the scene later conveyed the injured driver and pregnant woman to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital and the pregnant woman to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital from thence. The ambulance driver has since died.
- On 17th May 2021, a former headteacher of the Bantama SDA Primary school in the Sene West District in the Bono East Region was shot and killed by suspected armed robbers on the Bantama-Kwame Danso road. The deceased, Elijah Asante was one of the enumerators for the Population and Housing Census was on his way home from an ongoing workshop for field officers. The ink used to write the 17th May story above had barely dried up when on Saturday 22nd May 2021, the headteacher of Ansapetu Basic school in the Central Region, Mr Yaw Eyifa Gorman was gruesomely shot and killed in his car in his Cape Coast residence at 7;45pm briefly after returning from a census training workshop. The gunmen melted into thin air before the occupants who were alleged to have mistaken the gunshots for a burst tire could come outside to his aid. The police are still on the man hunt for the robbers.
- Even as the police had not yet apprehended the perpetrators of the headmasters’ gruesome murders in May 2021, two armed robbers were reported to have broken into a forex bureau opposite the headquarters of the Ghana National Fire service close to the Police Headquarters on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Viral videos of the robbery incident showed the burglars indiscriminately firing shots during their operation in the full glare of bystanders. They were also said to have bolted with an undisclosed amount of money and injured some persons at the shop.
- On Saturday 12th June 2021, the Ghana Police shot and injured a suspected robber during a robbery operation at the GIMPA/Fiesta Royale junction in Accra. That road which was unlit at night and covered with a thicket had for a long while become a den and a citadel for armed robbers who attack unsuspecting victims in their cars, motorcycles or on foot mostly at night and use the dark thicket as a fortress after their attacks.
THE WAY FORWARD
- The state of security in this country needs urgent attention. The government, the Ministry of the Interior, National Security and the law enforcement agencies cannot treat this issue with the chronic Ghanaian, hide and seek, a lackadaisical and lethargic approach which we usually attach to issues that glaringly need urgent attention. The aforementioned institutions must come up with a clear roadmap and a practical and workable solution to nip this burgeoning danger in the bud as soon as possible. This reign of terror just like rain is a non- discriminator who knows neither old nor young, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, man or woman. Anybody can fall victim to the lapses or woeful inadequacies of the security system. The post robbery reactions and media briefings, from the Police, the commiseration with relatives of deceased police officers, the consultative fora and workshops on crime and security must be backed by affirmative action; facta non verba, (actions, not words).
- The IGP should with immediate effect withdraw the services of policemen and women in escorts of bullion vans until the Bank of Ghana and the Association of Ghana Bankers provides them with proper billions that are armoured, state of the art, and with hidden cameras. The June 30th ultimatum given to The Association of Bankers by the IGP to provide properly armored bullion vans is dangerously too far away because on Thursday, June 17th 2021 a few days after the Jamestown bullion attack, another bullion van narrowly escaped a robbery attack at Gomoa Dominase in the Central Region. With immediate effect,the leadership of the Ghana Police must sign a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of Ghana and the Association of Ghana Bankers that “no armoured bullion vans, no police escort”.
- Streetlights must be erected on dark, obscure roads with surrounding thickets and overgrown bushes like the one on the Fiesta Royale- Gimpa road cleared or removed to curtail the activities of armed robbers, and way layers Accordingly, the Ghana Police must intentionally create checkpoints or barriers at such flashpoints and hideouts in the so many similar places all over the country to scare criminals and bandits with their visibility and presence.
- The judiciary in concert with the police should expedite the adjudication of the alleged murderers of Major Mahama, Hon. JB Danquah, Hon. Ekow Hayford, Ahmed Suale, and many other high profile murder cases which have been long long overdue to restore the dwindling faith of Ghanaians in the policing and justice system of this country to serve as a deterrent to other upcoming criminals. This would prevent people from taking up arms and weapons in the name of protecting themselves. The guns are and would always be better in the hands of the Ghana Police than the ordinary Ghanaian.
- District assemblies must provide streetlights and replace defunct ones especially in flashpoints and isolated streets and enclaves in all towns and cities to reduce the hideouts of the robbers and criminals.
- Communities must be encouraged to set up watchdog committees with the approval and supervision of assemblymen and unit committee members to beef up the security provided by the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies.
- Police visibility and patrol must intensify especially in hotspots and flashpoints that crime abound with more roadblocks and checkpoints set up across the country to deter criminals or would-be criminals
- The Local Government and Ministry of Information should provide citizens with information on basic safety measures and protocols to undertake to protect t and protect their own lives and property in these trying moments.
- Individuals should as much as possible be encouraged to mount CCTV cameras inside and outside their homes and in their cars to be help the police to track down criminals who may attack them.
- The Ghana Police Service must serve the media with live and timely video evidence of the arrest of criminals and provide up to speed information about every step of their prosecution to allay the fear and panic that is mongering in the core fabric of the Ghanaian society. This would be a huge step in restoring public confidence of the police.
- The Ministries of Interior and Defense as a matter of urgency must constitute a taskforce consisting the BNI, National Security, Ghana Police, Ghana Armed Forces, CEPS and Immigrations to gather intelligence and patrol every corner Bolgatanga, Tamale and the entire Northern Sector to quell the purported attack of bandits from Burkina Faso as widely reported in the media.
- The perpetuators of yesterday’s killings of unarmed civilians in Ejura, the Ayawaso West by elections and the 2020 general elections must be made to face the full regus of the law to help restore the festering mistrust of the security infrastructure by Ghanaians. The Police, Ghana Armed Forces, and the National security operatives are not above the 1992 constitution of Ghana, they should be brought to book.
- THE SAFETY OF THIS NATION MUST NOT BE TAKEN UP IN ALL DILIGENCE AND IN A CONCERTED EFFORT BY THE GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL SECURITY, MASS MEDIA, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, OPINION LEADERS, SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS, TRADITIONAL RULERS, SECURITY EXPERTS AND ANALYSTS AND THE EVERYDAY GHANAIAN. WE URGE THE GOVERNMENT NOT TO BE A SPECTATOR WHILES THE NATIONS’S SECURITY FESTERS BY THE MINUTE.IT HAS A BASIC AND CORE MANDATE TO PROTECT THE LIVES AND PROPERTIES OF ITS’ CITIZENS.
LIFE IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT ENSHRINED UNTO US BY NATURE AND WE SHOULD DO EVERYTHING IN OUR JURISDICTION TO PROTECT OUR OWN GHANAIAN LIVES AND PROPERTY. NO ONE CAN PROTECT THE GHANAIAN BETTER THAN THE GHANAIAN.A STITCH IN TIME, SAVES NINE. IT IS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN TO BE SORRY. IT WOULD BE BETTER TO ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION THAN TO FEIGN PERFECTION. IT IS NOW OR NEVER!!!.
EBEN KWAKU FANUKU