The Minority in Parliament has condemned Thursday’s military brutality on civilians in Wa by some soldiers who went on the rampage in search of a missing mobile phone.
Speaking about the issue on the floor of parliament on Friday, 2 July 2021, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu urged the Speaker to cause the Defence and Interior Committee to go to the Upper West regional capital to find out the facts of the matter.
“We will not accept a state of lawlessness led by men in uniform”, The Tamale South MP thundered in parliament, adding: “I am asking the Committee to take up this matter because we risk cracking the civil-military relations that remain fundamental to our country’s peace and security.”
First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, who was in the chair, tasked the committee to probe the matter.
Also, on the floor of parliament was Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul, who condemned the brutality.
Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah has rendered an unqualified apology to Wa overlord Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV, for the brutish behaviour of the soldiers.
Maj. Gen. Oppong-Peprah explained that the soldiers, who misconducted themselves, were deployed to the area just about a month ago.
“Let me, first of all, apologise for whatever happened and to tell you that all those involved in this act will be brought to book. I want to reassure you that we wouldn’t let this one occurrence mar our relationship at all”, Maj. Gen. Oppong-Peprah said.
Already, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has indicated that it will deal with the soldiers captured on a mobile phone footage randomly stopping, searching and brutalising civilians.
A statement issued and signed by the Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel E. Aggrey-Quashie, on 2 July 2021, indicated: “This unprofessional conduct took place on Thursday, 1 July 2021 and at a time when the commanding officer of the soldiers, and the chairman of the Regional Security Council, were both out of town on official engagements”.
“Internal disciplinary measures have been instituted to deal with all those who will be found culpable in this unprofessional conduct by the soldiers,” it further noted, adding: “In view of the seriousness of the matter, the Chief of the Army Staff is leading a high powered military delegation to Wa to meet the traditional and opinion leaders to find an amicable way of resolving this unfortunate incident”.
“The delegation will also explore means to assuage the anger of the people and promote good neighbourliness”.
The army assured the locals of Wa and the general public that “their safety is paramount at all times, as such would not condone any professional conduct by any member of the force”.