Military being misused – Kunbour

A former Defence Minister Dr Benjamin Kunbour has noted that the Military is being misused by the political class.

He explained that the role of the Military is clearly defined therefore, it cannot be right for them to be used for purposes other than what have been spelt out in the books.

His comments come after a group of military men were captured on camera in Wa in the Upper West Regional brutalizing civilians on the streets.

According to one eyewitness, one of the soldiers was believed to have boarded what is referred to as “Yellow Yellow” or “Mahama Cambo” and lost his phone.

The incident was said to have started at 1:00pm and lasted for close to an hour at the Wa main traffic Thursday afternoon.

Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, who is said to have gone to find out from the military about their operations was also severely brutalized with his mobile phone also destroyed.

He was taken to the Wa Municipal Hospital but was later referred to the Upper West Regional Hospital.

 “They are misusing the military because we know the role of  the military, we know  the exceptions to  those roles and we know the analysis  we will need to justify  why we must use the military.

“So, if somebody’s neighbour shouts across to insult a person’s wife and the person happens to be  a politician , give me a platoons of soldiers  to go and teach this person where power lies. When you use your military in that way you have a problem,” Dr Kunbour told TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa in an interview.

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The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah has apologized to the chiefs and people of Wa for the brutalities meted to out civilians by some soldiers.

He described the development as a “horrible” conduct by “some misguided soldiers taking the laws into their own hands and going round and brutalizing people.”

Addressing the traditional leaders in Wa on Friday July 2, he said “The Military High Command  put in a lot of resources  to ensure that we create  a regiment  battalion  over here in Wa. So that they will be able to bring  peace to the peace-loving  people of this region.

“We were all happy  last few weeks  when we came here to train on how we will be able to defend  the country  and especially the Upper West region  so we chose places like Hamile and Wa  specifically  to conduct our training. The sort of reception we got from the people made us all  very happy.

“In fact, we were planning  a visit to come and thank  the good people of this region  only for last night  seeing some horrible events on social media about some misguided soldiers taking the laws into their own hands  and going round and brutalizing  people.

“The Military High Command immediately met and a decision was taken that early first thing in the morning as the Chief of the Army Staff  responsible for lands,  must get on board  an aircraft and fly over  here and come and render unqualified apology to his Excellency the Overlord and to the good people of this area.”

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Meanwhile, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who sat in for the Speaker on Friday July 2 has directed the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament to investigate the circumstance that caused the Military brutalities in Wa.

The Committee has one month to investigate, collect and collate the facts and report to the House for further action.

“As proposed by the Minority Leader and seconded by the Majority leader, I direct the Committee on Defence and Interior to proceed to Wa  to investigate , collect and collate the facts  and report to the House  within four weeks,” the Speaker said.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu had appealed to the Speaker of Parliament to send a delegation of members of the Defense and Interior Committee, to Wa to intervene in the Military brutalities in that part of the country.

Speaking on the floor of the House on Friday July 2, he told the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Wusu who sat in for the Speaker Alban Bagbin that “I am urging you to request your committee on Defense and Interior  to act expeditiously  if it means visiting Wa to see for themselves.

“The development and the circumstances  leading to the impunity  must stop.

“I am seeking your leave as I raise this matter so that we can continue to co-exist. The continued conduct of the Military is undermining civil and public confidence in our Ghana Armed Forces who have a duty to protect us.. This is the conduct of a few of them, to be fair to them.”

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A group of military men were captured on camera in Wa in the Upper West Regional brutalizing civilians on the streets.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana