After requesting for the presence of the Military at a civil protest in Ejura as Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Security Council, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, says he does not know the identities of the soldiers who shot and killed two protesters and injured four others.
According to him, a preliminary investigation conducted into the matter is yet to reveal the identities of the operatives.
Two residents of Ejura, Nasir Yussif and Murtala Mohammed, were shot dead by soldiers during a protest against the killing of another native of the town, Ibrahim Mohammed alias Macho Kaaka.
Out of the four other persons who sustained gunshot wounds, one of them, a sixteen year old boy, has had one of his legs amputated at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
Taking his turn at the ministerial committee hearing in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Minister justified the inclusion of the military during the operation to restore calm in the town.
“…As I was informed, the military moved forward for the police to be behind them because their method to disperse the crowd failed. It was during that period that I was told the shooting incidents or whatever took place, but as to who gave the shots, I have not been informed yet or to say it has not been established yet.”
Mr. Osei-Mensah, however, defended the military involvement in the protest.
According to him, he needed to restore calm to save lives and property, and does not think the collaboration between the two agencies should end. He said he acted in line with the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1030.
“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 said.
The violence occurred during protests that followed the death of Ibrahim Muhammed.
Ibrahim Muhammed, alias Kaaka, died after he was attacked by a mob on June 27 while returning home.
He’s believed to have been killed because he was critical of the government.
The 45-year-old was noted to be vocal on both local and national issues using his Facebook page.
Police in the Ashanti Region have since arrested three persons in connection with his death and put them before the court.
Ibrahim Muhammed was buried on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, alongside the two others who died in the protest.