The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has rebuffed calls on him to resign for the role he played in the military deployment to Ejura, which led to the death of two persons during a protest.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he retorted that: “in advanced democracies, people resign when they err against the law, not when they act within the law.”
In response to the call by the Ejura Sekyedumase MP, Mohammed Bawah Braimah, for him to be relieved of his role, Mr. Osei-Mensah said his removal from office “is the prerogative of the President.”
He again defended his deployment of the military to Ejura without convening the Regional Security Council.
“When there is a security situation and an emergency, can you say you are going to wait [and do nothing till you call for a meeting] when the people have started destroying things?” Mr. Osei-Mensah asked.
Following disturbances that occurred in Ejura in the Ashanti Region which led to the death of an activist and two others, a committee was tasked to probe the troubles in the town and made recommendations.
The report of the Justice Koomson committee was presented to the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, about two weeks ago. The report, among other things, recommended the dismissal of the Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu, Mohammed Salisu Bamba as well as the soldier who led the command for the ground operation on the day of the incident.
Although the report is not fully out, portions of it sighted by Citi News revealed these recommendations. There is also a recommendation for the payment of compensation for affected families and victims.
The Member of Parliament for Ejura Sekyedumase, Mohammed Bawah Braimah, insisted that the recommendations of the Justice Koomson Committee are not far-reaching enough.
Mr. Braimah insisted that the recommended sanctions are not punitive enough.
He told journalists that he expected the committee to recommend severe sanctions on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, who admitted to inviting the soldiers to the town.
“The committee should have recommended the removal of the [Ashanti] Regional Minister or a hefty punishment [be imposed on him]. If you look at the work of the committee, they should have even invited the military men who were on the ground. They rather invited the officers in Kumasi who were not on the ground but gave evidence based on hearsay. And hearsay evidence isn’t always factual. They should have even invited the commander who was on the ground,” he said.