Franklin Cudjoe, president of think tank IMANI Africa, has wondered why the Ejura ministerial commitee of inquiry continued sitting beyond the first day.
According to him, the fact the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, who appeared before the committee admitted that he ordered the military deployment to quell the youth protest, meant that the objective of the committee had been achieved.
In comments made over the weekend on Citi FM’s The Big Issue news analysis program, Mr. Cudjoe stressed that but for the military deployment and the attendant deaths and injuries recorded, the committee would not have been constituted.
“I thought that the Committee’s work should have been done immediately the Ashanti Regional Minister said he gave the command because isn’t that what we are looking for? Who gave the order?
“That’s what they are meant to be looking out for… The circumstances and the killings in Ejura… And he provided some video evidence to show that the police were getting overwhelmed, and so as a result of that he felt in his right to give an order for that to happen.
“Of course, we have questioned whether he was right to give the order in the first place, So I thought the work is done. If the demonstration ground had not been dispersed with live ammunition and some people killed and maimed, we wouldn’t be having the committee sitting. Somebody gave the order and the person has identified himself, so I think the matter ends there,” he submitted.
The Minister whiles appearing before the committee justified his order for military assistance on the issue stressing that in his capacity of the regional security council, the laws clothed him with powers to do so.
“So based on this information, I ordered the police and military to go to the town and maintain law and order, and I did so as Chairman of the Regional Security Council because the law grants me that power.
“I’ve used this strategy all this while. This is the first time we have casualties, and I think we should continue with it,” Mr. Osei-Mensah added.
The gruesome attack on and subsequent death of activist Mohammed Ibrahim, known as Macho Kaaka in Ejura late last month triggered protests which led to the killing of two young people by a military team deployed to quell the violent protests.
A ministerial committee is currently sitting to unravel the circumstances around Kaaka’s death and the subsequent violent incidents. The family has, however, declined to appear before the committee.