The Member of Parliament for Zebilla, Cletus Avoka, has said that he will be requesting the speaker of Parliament to initiate a probe into the military brutalities that took place in Garu.
He said there are so many questions about the operations of the Military.
“We were hopeful that we would be making the statement today [Tuesday, October 31] in Parliament but the time was gone and the Second Deputy Speaker who was in the Chair said that the statement was important and that he would want good attention so we should take it on [Wednesday] in the morning. We intend to request the speaker to order a probe into this event.
“There are so many questions to ask than answers that we have. What did they actually want? Who authorised it?” He said on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Tuesday, October 31.
He further stated that there is no justification for the Military brutalities. He indicated that the facts presented by the National Security Ministry do not support the reality on the ground.
The Ministry of National Security had explained the dawn military operation that took place in Garu and Bugri in the Upper East Region after some residents were injured in the military operation in the communities.
The situation attracted flak from security analysts including Dr Adam Bonaa who said that the military invasion did not appear to be a counter-terrorism operation due to the assault on the people.
Dr Bonaa explained that the modus operandi for fighting terrorism has been one that involves the locals to be able to win therefore, attacking them will rather be counter-productive to the efforts in fighting the terrorists.
“No country has been able to fight terrorism without the involvement of the people. and so if you are there claiming to be fighting terrorism then I will say you need the involvement of the people. This doesn’t look like an activity to counter terrorists, this looks like an operation to brutalize the people in the area,” he said on the mid-day news on TV3 Sunday October 29.
But the Ministry of National Security explained that on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 an irate youth group armed with AK 47 rifles, machetes and other weapons besieged a team of five counter-terrorism intelligence officers deployed by the Ministry of National Security to Garu on a critical, special operation.
Despite initial attempts to introduce themselves as National Security personnel, the Ministry said, the irate youth group proceeded to attack the officers by firing multiple gun shots at a black Toyota Land Cruiser in which the officers were seated.
Following an escalation of the attacks on their vehicle, the officers drove to seek refuge at the Garu Police Station.
“The irate youth, subsequently, pursued the officers, encircled the police station and fired multiple shots at same with the intention of killing the officers. The timely intervention of the Ghana Armed Forces enabled the safe evacuation of the National Security personnel from the Garu Police Station,” a statement by the Ministry on Sunday October 29 said.
Further to the aforesaid development, it added, the Ministry of National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces, on Saturday, October 28, 2023, conducted a joint operation in Garu to seize weapons used by the perpetrators of the attack on the National Security personnel.
“A number of the perpetrators have also been arrested. The Ministry of National Security deems the attack on the security personnel at a police station highly unacceptable, and strongly condemns acts aimed at intimidating and harming officials of State Security and Intelligence Agencies, and impeding them from effectively executing their mandate to safeguard the peace and stability of Ghana.
“Whereas the Ministry of National Security works to promote active citizen participation in safeguarding the peace and stability of our dear nation, deliberate acts that seek to jeopardise the lives of personnel of State Security and Intelligence Agencies will not be countenanced.
“The Ministry owes it a duty to protect personnel of State Security and Intelligence Agencies who have sworn an oath to, at all times, defend the people and the territorial integrity of Ghana against all forms of threats,” the statement said.
quesMr Cletus Avoka who is also a member of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament said “With the greatest of respect, I don’t think that the operations by the National Security were justified even if it was embellished too much or it was exaggerated.
“I am saying so against the backdrop that the facts presented by the National Security minister are inconsistent with the facts that we gathered from the grounds.
“On the 24th of October, I heard that a strange V8 Vehicle was spotted in Garu, Garu is part of the Bawku enclave and because of the principle of ‘See Something, Say Something’ one or two people spotted the vehicle and then it looked strange to them because it didn’t have a registered number at the back. So they got to them and discovered what they were doing, they asked them who they were and what they wanted and they said they were national security operatives and they had come there for a mission. The youth asked, how are you national security and you are not at the Police Station or a recognized place? The youth then said they would send them to the Police station to ascertain.
“So these young men sent them peacefully and safely to the Police station, it was when they got to the Police station that the Police personnel opened the vehicle and discovered that there were arms and ammunition in the car.
“This alarmed the local community because that area is a volatile area and they could not understand whether they were actually national security in good faith or they were pretending to be members of the National Security. It was at this point that the news went around the community that they had arms and ammunition, it was at that stage that they deflated the tyres so the lorry doesn’t move.”