The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, has said that he requested the presence of the military in Ejura on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, as Chairman of the Regional Security Council, REGSEC.
Mr. Osei Mensah said he took that action based on intelligence he gathered a day before the protest that turned bloody with two lives lost, and four others injured.
According to him, he had picked intelligence that the youth of the area had planned to burn the Ejura District Police Station after the burial of social activist, Ibrahim Muhammed, alias Kaaka, who was killed by a mob.
He said this was not the first time he was using the military to curb some planned activities within the region.
Mr. Osei Mensah was speaking on Peace FM’s Krokokoo on Friday, July 2, 2021.
He, however, described the excesses of the military on the day as unfortunate.
“I called on the military, as the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to be a backup a day before the incident. I did that based on intelligence I gathered that the youth had planned to go and burn the police station in the town and the homes of the two suspects the police have arrested after the burial of Kaaka.”
“It is very unfortunate what happened, but this isn’t the first time the military has been called upon to assist the police. It is a strategy I have used since 2017.”
There have been concerns about the use of the military in civil protests and situations, with many calling for an end to the practice for the police to take charge to reduce or curb these excesses.
What happened in Ejura?
Ibrahim Muhammed, 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 protestors had become rowdy and were pelting s the security personnel with stones.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has said it is investigating the incident.
But the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery upon the instructions of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has set a committee to look into the issue.