Brigadier General Joseph Aphour of the Ghana Armed Forces has explained that the military personnel deployed to quell the riotous situation caused by the protesting youth of Ejura Sekyedumase on June 29, applied minimal force to control the crowd because they fired at the officers.

Brigadier-General Aphour made this statement on Wednesday, when he appeared before the Three-Member Committee probing the incident which resulted in the death of two persons while four others were left with gunshot wounds.

“At that stage, it was becoming too bad for them to see civilians firing from the crowd, I think the commander at that stage then had to use minimum force by trying to fire to maim those people who were involved.

“But for what we did that day, we believe and strongly believe that there would have been more deaths if we actually fired indiscriminately. More would have died but we tried to nail the people, we used the minimum force, and we were able to control the situation,” he told the Committee.

The irate youth of Ejura on June 29, hit the streets to protest against the killing of one Ibrahim Mohammed, aka Kaaka Macho.

Brigadier General Joseph Aphour stated that he was not present at Ejura during the protest, but was optimistic that his account is fairly accurate because he received the incident report from the Battalion Commander.

“I wasn’t there in Ejura. I was sitting in Kumasi and monitoring everything and my Battalion Commander was briefing me. At every stage, we send what we call the incident report to our Headquarters in Accra.”

He emphasized that had the military personnel exerted intense force, there would have been lots of casualties.

Responding to concerns in respect of military personnel not being equipped with crowd control skills for which reason they should not have been involved in the Ejura incident, the Brigadier General said information they received on Sunday, June 27, indicated that the Police needed the assistance of the Military due to the nature of the situation in the community.

He said on Monday, June 28, while the Military was on a patrol, they heard there was a mass-up of the civilians heading to the cemetery to bury the deceased [Ibrahim Mohammed] “and particularly we heard that they were at the Police station and there was a need for us to intervene because if we didn’t intervene, things would go out of hand.”