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Ashaiman swoop: Five key things John Mahama addressed in his statement to military

Former president John Dramani Mahama on March 8, 2023 formally reacted to a military swoop that took place a day earlier at Ashaiman, a suburb of Accra.

Mahama’s statement posted on his official Facebook page addressed the three legs of the ongoing saga that started with the killing of a young soldier in the area, an act he said had deeply saddened him.

He also called on the military to remain calm and allow the necessary law enforcement bodies to handle the crime, whiles consoling the family and the Armed Forces.

He stopped short of condemning the swoop with the attendant human rights abuses that were recorded and went on to commiserate with members of the public who may have been caught up in the action of the military.

Below are 5 major things contained in Mahama’s statement

Condemnation of the killing of soldier

John Mahama started his statement with a comment on the killing of 21-year-old Sherrif Imoro, a trooper with the GAF who was in Accra for a programme.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of one of our soldiers, at such a young age, in Ashaiman,” the statement read.

Condolences to family and the military

“Lordina and I extend our deepest condolences to his bereaved and grieving family, and the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces.

“As your former Commander in Chief, I do appreciate how such unexpected deaths affect the Force,” the statement stressed.

Call for restraint and respect for due process

The former president also asked the military to restrain themselves and allow for mandated state agencies to bring the killers of Trooper Sherrif Imoro to book.

“However, I encourage you to exercise restraint and allow due process to investigate, apprehend, prosecute and punish the perpetrator(s) of the dastardly act.”

Sympathies with victims of brutality

Mahama pointed out the possibility that innocent people could have been caught up in the military swoop before sympathizing with any such persons.

“There are obviously many people who live and work in Ashaiman who are innocent of this heinous crime. The military must, therefore, refrain from meting out extra-judicial justice to them.

“I also sympathise with the victims of the torture in Ashaiman as a result of this unfolding death of a serving soldier.”

A prayer for Ghana

“I pray we find peace and harmony in our dear country, as the government and state institutions immediately step in to address this potentially inflammatory development between Ashaiman and the Ghana Armed Forces; including providing commensurate compensation for all persons affected,” the statement concluded.

The March 7 military swoop

Dozens of military officers stormed Ashaiman in the operation that saw some soldiers entering the town in trucks, with an armoured car plus a helicopter hovering over the town.

The exercise is said to be in response to the gruesome murder of a young soldier, Trooper Sherrif Imoro, by some unidentified persons on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Videos of the invasion shared across social media show various forms of assault being meted on residents by the rampaging officers who subjected some of the residents to severe beatings.

In a statement released in the early hours of March 8, the Ghana Armed Forces admitted authorizing the swoop which led to the arrest of 184 persons, as well as the seizure of suspected illegal drugs.

In the said statement, they also acknowledged excesses may have resulted in the swoop but failed to apologize for or commit to conduct a probe on same.

Read Mahama’s full statement below:

I am deeply saddened by the death of one of our soldiers, at such a young age, in Ashaiman.

Lordina and I extend our deepest condolences to his bereaved and grieving family, and the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces.

As your former Commander in Chief, I do appreciate how such unexpected deaths affect the Force.

However, I encourage you to exercise restraint and allow due process to investigate, apprehend, prosecute and punish the perpetrator(s) of the dastardly act.

There are obviously many people who live and work in Ashaiman who are innocent of this heinous crime. The military must, therefore, refrain from meting out extra-judicial justice to them.

I also sympathise with the victims of the torture in Ashaiman as a result of this unfolding death of a serving soldier.

I pray we find peace and harmony in our dear country, as the government and state institutions immediately step in to address this potentially inflammatory development between Ashaiman and the Ghana Armed Forces; including providing commensurate compensation for all persons affected.

 

Source: ghanaweb.com

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