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Political class misapplying military – Festus Aboagye

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Security analyst, Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd), has taken a dig at politicians for misapplying the mandate of the military in the wake of the military raid at Ashaiman following the death of a military officer, Trooper Sherrif Imoro.

He bemoaned the rate at which the state has been abusing military officers thereby going against the tenets of the military.

Retired Colonel Aboagye cited an instance where military officers were deployed to Parliament during the voting of a new Speaker of Parliament in January 2021.

He described as wrong the situation where military officers are sent during elections to man voting areas adding that such activities are not the core functions of the military.

Speaking on the Big Issue on Citi TV with Selorm Adonoo, the security analyst said, perpetrators of the crime are the least to be indicted. He blamed the political class for such issues.

“When the state misapplies the GAF for that matter, the military and other security institutions, it’s only a matter of time before those institutions will misapply their mandate and that is what we saw at Ashaiman. The criminals are the least to be indicted.

“We go full circle and come back to who controls GAF. The mobilisation of helicopters, armoured vehicles and troops is not the way any military should behave in a democracy. Even if the politicians were right, I contest. Squarely, the blame must be placed at the doorsteps of the political class. A lot of our men and women who are politicians don’t understand the tenets of the military. The political class undermining democracy,” Retired Colonel Aboagye said.

He slammed the state for failing to define the role of the military.

“The failure of the state also lies in the failure of governance in clearly defining the role of the military in a democracy. The role of the military is prescribed in our constitution, but that is not what the control and management of the Armed Forces should be about.

“Let’s go to voter registration and how the state misapplied men and women in uniform where they sent the military to go and supervise elections which are not their function. Let’s go to Ejura, the state again misapplied the Ghana Armed Forces in dealing with an event which was squarely the remit of the Ghana police. Let’s go to 2021, transition of authority from one administration to the other. Who ordered GAF to enter Parliament, till today nobody in government has had the moral courage and the decency to say he/she ordered the military there”.

He opined that the security apparatus of the country is strengthened to avoid future occurrences.

“The earlier we strengthen national security architecture, police, military and other security institutions, the better,” he said.

Military personnel stormed Ashaiman on Tuesday dawn March 7, 2023, with helicopters and armoured vehicles, to brutalise civilians following the murder of the military officer, Trooper Sherriff Imoro, who was allegedly stabbed in the town on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Some innocent residents were lined up and beaten to a pulp as the town became what residents described as a ‘ghost’ area.

The soldier, according to sources, was from Taifa and heading toward his residence at Zongo-Laka in Ashaiman when the unfortunate incident occurred.

Imoro Sherif who was found dead in a pool of blood near the Amania Hotel in Ashaiman was laid to rest on March 9.

Though he was carrying a laptop and other electronic gadgets the attackers made away with only his iPhone.

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in a statement justified the brutalities adding that the raid was not to avenge the death of the soldier but to fish out perpetrators of heinous crimes.

GAF announced that its high command sanctioned the swoop. The military during the swoop arrested 184 suspects, but they were all later released by the military.

The Police after a week of sustained intelligence-led operation arrested the key suspects involved in the murder of Imoro Sherrif.

The arrest was solely police intelligence work without the involvement of the military.

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