Citinewsroom.com reported yesterday, that Parliament had summoned the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, to appear before it on Thursday, November 9, 2023, to brief the members on the alleged military attacks on residents of Garu and Tempane in the Upper East Region.
Over 50 people were reportedly hospitalised after some military personnel allegedly unleashed mayhem on the Garu residents over the weekend. It is alleged that the military attack was in retaliation for an attack on some National Security operatives by a vigilante group in Garu.
In response to calls by Members of Parliament for an investigation into the matter, the website said Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who chaired proceedings at the time the concern was raised in the House, directed the National Security Minister to brief the legislators on the situation on November 9, 2023.
“At the moment, what I want to do is to invite the Minister to appear before the entire house, come and brief us. Probably what we are hearing is different from what the Minister has at his sleeves. So let us invite the Minister to appear before the house, he will come and brief the house and we will take it on from there.
“So I am asking that the Minister appear before the house on Thursday, the 9th of November, 2023 to brief the house concerning issues related to happenings at Garu and Tempane,” the citinewsroom.com reported.
Following the concerns that have been raised by civil society organisations and individuals over the alleged brutalisation of the people, the best thing to do is to invite the supervising Minister to explain. Though, as a country, we have been practising this Fourth Republic for thirty years, the excesses of the military are becoming one too many.
The Garu and Tempane incidents are coming just a few months after the people of Ashaiman suffered a similar fate. The public uproar against that particular incident should have been enough to tell the military that never again should they repeat that conduct, but alas, it has happened – no lesson learnt.
Some of the TV stations have been showing scars on bodies of the victims. There are even unconfirmed reports that some the victims were forced to drink contaminated water from the gutter. If this allegation turns out to be true, how can it be justified in this modern civilised society?
Since the Military, like the police, are there to protect us, any attack on them is an attack on the state. The Chronicle will, therefore, not seek to justify the alleged attack on the National Security Operatives at Tempane, if it is true that they were, indeed, attacked. We have heard from reports that the security men were not in uniform, but again whether this is true or not, they are human beings and ought not to have been attacked by the people.
The issue should have ended when the security men sought refuge in the police station, as has being reported. This aberration, notwithstanding, the security men should have also exercised patience and not rushing to attack the whole community.
Both the military and National Security have intelligence units and should have relied on them to fish out those who committed the crime for the law to deal with them. The resort to collective punishment, especially by the military, is becoming too many. As we noted, when the Ashaiman incident happened, the fact that the security agencies have monopoly over the use of force does not mean such a monopoly should be exercised capriciously.
We have once raised this issue, and we are repeating it – when civil society rise up against an established security setup, no amount of bullets can quell it. It has happened in so many countries and we must collectively ensure that it does not occur in Ghana as well.
Mr Kan Dapaah is personality we have respected for so many years, dating back to the days when John Agyekum Kufuor appointed him as a minister. The Chronicle is, therefore, surprised that it is during his time that these military excesses are happening in the country. It is not a good record he is going to leave behind and he better check it. We shall return.