The Deputy Minister for Defense, Derek Oduro has asserted that the discipline and restraint of the two soldiers who were brutalized by residents of Dome Faase saved the lives of many in the community.
According to him, had the soldiers reacted poorly to attacks of these residents and fought back with the weapons in their possession, the community would have recorded a lot of deaths.
He made this comment in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show.
“The soldiers saw people coming with guns and other weapons. They (soldiers) fired warning shots but that didn’t deter the mob. If the soldiers had not displayed professionalism, a lot of people, more than one hundred (100) people would have been dead by now. They could have used the weapons in their possession to fight back. They could’ve used the weapons on the mob and not fired warning shots.”
“The soldiers exercised restraint and didn’t fire at anybody but they were rather butchered. You attack the same soldier who is there to ensure your safety and expect these same people to protect you when you’re being victimized or face any danger?” he queried.
He debunked all rumours claiming that the two soldiers were acting as ‘land guards.’ Explaining further, the retired army major stated that the soldiers were part of the ‘Operation Calm Life’ team who have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order. “The soldiers were stationed in Dome Faase to bring an end to land guard issues and other security threats. So we should not dwell on the disputed land allegation and all that.”
Derek Oduro who was clearly saddened and angered by the actions of the residents of Dome Faase revealed that the two soldiers are currently receiving treatment at the hospital and promised that those responsible for the attack will be brought to book.
“These people cut up the soldiers like meat and members of the community are trying to cover up for the offenders and are trying to prevent the security agencies from undertaking their duty.”
Regardless of not being able to tell Happy 98.9 FM the total number of soldiers stationed at Dome Faase, the Deputy Defense Minister noted that investigations are ongoing to establish the real events that occurred. “The military has set up a board of enquiry to investigate the issue and the police are also investigating the issue,” he said.
The politician also raised concerns over allegations being levelled against the army as they undertake investigations into the brutality suffered by their officers. “Look, people are saying we have pulled out pregnant women and are punishing them for the wrong done by a few in their community. But we’ve not done that. The media and some mischievous people are trying to tarnish the image of the army.”
He explained that the military has rather effected some arrests and handed over these suspects to the police for further investigations.
This is not the first time military personnel have been brutalized by the ordinary Ghanaian citizen. Violence against security personnel over the past years has been increasing and has become a worrying trend.
On May 29,2017, residents of Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region lynched an army officer, Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama to death after mistaking him for an armed thief.
The mob attacked and beat him to death with stones, building blocks and sticks, after which they set him on fire. The horrific act which was captured on video was greatly condemned. Investigations into the murder of the army officer led to the arrest of some town folks.
Two policemen from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) were shot dead in August 2019 at Gomoa Buduburam, by armed men travelling in an unregistered saloon car.
In that month alone, as many as five police personnel lost their lives after being attacked by armed men during their assignments across the country.
In March 2019, a policeman, constable, Julius Mawuli Ekpe was severely beaten by a driver and his mate at Mallam junction whilst undertaking his duty.
The latest of such violence is the Dome Faase incident where two military personnel sustained various degrees of injuries after being brutalized by residents who accused them of being land guards.
“Three weeks ago we heard rumours of activities on Ga lands that fall precisely under the Domeabra Obong constituency. Further investigations revealed that the presence of a team of armed land guards was working with some military personnel terrorizing the communities, claiming the Akyem stool sent them,” a spokesman for the residents told reporters.
By: Joel Sanco