The Wa West MP, Peter Toobu, has said the main lapse in the police response to protests at the Islamic Senior High School was not deploying a full Formed Police Unit.
“They are equipped in such a way that when they appear in a crowd, there is a way to handle them without getting to the point of killing people,” Mr. Toobu said on The Big Issue.
The Formed Police Unit is specially trained to deal with public disorder.
But Mr. Toobu noted that “if you deploy the wrong tools to solve a problem, you will get wrong answers. If the police deploy the wrong unit to deal with crowd management, all you will get is embarrassment.”
“If they [the FPU] are not available, and you have to call people who are on patrol to deal with armed robbery, all they carry with them are AK-47s, and they will have to use it if it becomes necessary.”
Though police may not fire on a crowd, Mr. Toobu explained that warning shots can still cause casualties.
“When they [students] hear the gunshots, the sound alone can create fear and panic, and some of them can even run and hit themselves on walls and fall into gutters and get hurt.”
The Ghana Police Service removed its Deputy Ashanti Regional Commander, DCOP Kwasi Akomeah Apraku, following the incident while two other officers were interdicted.
Over 30 students from the school were hospitalised after they were met with police action that included the use of tear gas and the firing of warning shots.
The students were protesting to demand speed ramps to prevent knockdowns from speeding vehicles in front of their school.
Various probes are ongoing to determine the facts of what happened on the day of the protest.
Members of Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee have also been to the school as part of a fact-finding mission.
Mr. Toobu noted that he was waiting for the full report and the reasons for the interdiction of the personnel.