Military’s action in Ejura amounts to 'Coup d'etat' – Yankah

The initiative is the brainchild of Honorable Kojo Yankah, founder of the African University College of Communications
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The military brutalities meted out to unarmed protesting crowd in Ejura in the Ashanti region amounted to a ‘Coup d’etat’, Founder of the African University College of Communications (AUCC), Professor Kojo Yankah has said.

He explained that whenever the military intervenes in the affairs of state, it means law and order has broken down.

His comments follow the gruesome murder of Macho Kakaa in Ejura last week.

There was also a violent clash among the military officers and the youth of the area who were demonstrating in that town on Tuesday, June 29 following the murder.

This led to the death of two persons with four sustaining various degrees of injury.

In a Facebook post, Professor Yankah who was Minister of Information under the Rawlings administration said “The ‘Coup d’etat’ at Ejura. Whenever the military intervenes in the affairs of state, it is called a ‘coup d’etat’. It means law and order has broken down. It means a ‘blow to the state’; not necessarily a takeover of state, but a serious intervention.

“Did soldiers have to go to Ejura to stop demonstrators ? Let alone to perform unprofessionally as seen on social media ? “And were they ‘professional soldiers’ trained and paid by the state ? Something is seriously wrong with Ghana’s national security.”

A security analyst, Mr Adib Sanni has also criticized the Military who were in Ejura to control the protesting crowd for using the last resort instead of the first.

He explained that the first resort in controlling an unarmed crowd is not the use of lethal ammunition as was used in Ejura.

Mr Sani told Abena Tabi, host of the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 3 that “Even if you are pushed to use force, we different types of forces, you can start with the use of water cannons, tear gas pepper spray .

“The last resort  is the use of lethal ammunition . Unfortunately, when you take a look at look at the video that surfaced online rather the last resort  was the first resort . When you look at the videos especially the one that shows the arrival of the military which was in the lead and the Police behind them  and water cannon by them you realize that  they simply went to action firing.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police Mr Oppong-Boanuh, has explained to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament the circumstances under which Police officers can shoot at protesting crowd.

He stated that the laws permit the men and women in uniform to use lethal force when their lives are in danger.

He said “Honourable Chair, you and I know that in very fluid situations, there are no hard and fast rules when the lives of the Police officers are threatened, that they should go through all these. So, depending on the nature of the situation you are dealing with, then you can go through all these.

He added “Yes, we do have a manual on the use of force. Normally, you will speak to the people through a megaphone or you shout if they can hear you and you spray water, you throw tear gas and then you use blank amour and eventually you use live amour,” he explained.

He further explained that even though protestors may not be carrying deadly weapons, the officers still need to protect themselves.

“Let me add that if you are dealing with unarmed demonstrators, then you will not go for live amour, but when you see somebody in the crowd holding a weapon which is capable of being used to kill or injure a Police officer, our laws permit us to use lethal force to eliminate that threat to the officers on duty. So, it depends on the situation you are dealing with,” he said.

“What people don’t know is ‘A’ may be armed, ‘B’ may not. So, being in the crowd doesn’t necessarily mean you know what is happening but technically, you are responsible for whatever the person is doing. So, we take steps to eliminate that threat to the officers,” he said.

 By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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