A retired police officer and Member of Parliament for Wa West, Peter Toobu, has lashed out at the police for failing to demonstrate professionalism in managing a protest of young people at Ejura in the Ashanti Region earlier this week.
The protest resulted in the death of two young people while four others were injured after they were shot dead by some military officers.
Videos showed the military officers descending from an ‘Operation COVID safety’ vehicle and taking various positions on the ground, while being followed by police officers in another vehicle.
Many have questioned the motive behind the use of armed soldiers to control a civil riot especially in the presence of police officers.
According to Peter Toobu, that arrangement is erroneous.
“[The military action] is absolutely irregular and very strange. What I expected is that the police should have led the army into the scene. The police should be leading, not the military. I expected water cannon vehicles in front, followed by the police and the military should be on standby visible to the people,” he said on The Point of View on Wednesday.
He said there are various techniques that could have been adopted by the police to restore calm rather than invite the military to use live bullets on the demonstrators.
The ex-police officer said the military should have been the last resort and made to stand aside in a position visible to the demonstrators so that they advise themselves accordingly, but they ought not to have taken charge of the situation and began firing, which he said was far-fetched.
“If we are able to deploy the right tool and the right personnel, we will get the results. As for military personnel in crowd control and management situation, it is far-fetched,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Peter Toobu says while the police is permitted to use lethal force in some situations, a probe into the incidents of the day in Ejura will need to find out if their level of force applied was justified.
Ibrahim Muhammed, a social activist, died on Monday, June 28, 2021, after he was attacked by a mob when he was returning home on his motorbike on Sunday at Ejura in the Sekyedumase District of the Ashanti Region.
He’s alleged to have been killed because of his social activism, which some felt was making the government unpopular.
The 45-year-old was noted to be vocal on both local and national issues using his Facebook page.
His family said he had faced threats over his activism prior to the attack.
Following his burial, some residents of Ejura began a street protest but were confronted by armed police and military personnel, leading to the death of two persons who were said to have been shot by some soldiers.
The Police claim the protesters had become rowdy and were pelting s the security personnel with stones.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has said it has commenced investigations into the incident.
President Akufo-Addo has also ordered the Interior Minister to carry out a public inquiry into the incident and release a report within 10 days.